Jan 8, 2020

Top Iranian official appears to mimic Trump tweet from Soleimani's killing

Iranian flag at an anti-war protest in Times Square, New York City, Jan. 4. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Senior Iranian official Saeed Jalili, who previously served as the country's chief nuclear negotiator, tweeted an image of the Iranian flag on Tuesday as Iran made its first direct retaliation against the U.S. for killing top general Qasem Soleimani.

The backstory: President Trump tweeted an American flag on the night the U.S. killed Soleimani with an airstrike near Baghdad's international airport. Jalili's tweet comes as Iran fires over a dozen ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases where U.S. troops are stationed.

Go deeper: Iran fires missiles at Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops

Go deeper

Trump says "all is well" after Iranian strikes on bases hosting U.S. troops

Iranian mourners carry a picture of Khamenei (R) and Soleimani. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday night "all is well" following the Iranian strikes on two Iraqi bases where U.S. troops are stationed.

Why it matters: This is the closest the current U.S.-Iran standoff has come to war, with Iran retaliating directly against the U.S. for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties at the bases, and Trump has appeared to signal restraint.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 8, 2020

Signs of respite with Iran despite Trump's red line

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

After Iran's launch of more than a dozen ballistic missiles last night at U.S. forces in Iraq, an initial search found zero American casualties, U.S. officials said.

Why it matters: Experts see that aftermath as a best-case scenario for de-escalation despite the fact that President Trump drew the brightest red line of his presidency when he tweeted a warning Saturday to Iran about hitting "American assets."

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Trump responds to missile strikes: "Iran appears to be standing down"

President Trump said in a White House address Wednesday that Americans should be "extremely grateful and happy" because Iranian strikes hours earlier resulted in no casualties, and Iran now "appears to be standing down."

Why it matters: Iran's strikes came in retaliation for the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a stunning event that led to immediate fears of war. Trump defended that decision and announced new sanctions on Iran, but did not signal new military escalation.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020