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A crowd gathers on Jan. 8 during commemorations marking the second anniversary of the killing of top Iranian Cmdr. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Cmdr. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Photo: Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images

Iran on Saturday sanctioned more than 50 U.S. officials over the 2020 assassination of Qasem Soleimani, one of the regime's most powerful military figures.

The big picture: The additional sanctions announced by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday come after the second anniversary of the Jan. 3, 2020, drone strike that killed Soleimani, the commander of Iran's regional network of proxies and international intelligence and terror operations.

  • Those on the list include: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Central Command chief Kenneth McKenzie, as well as other Pentagon officials and commanders overseeing U.S. bases across the region.
  • A year ago, Iran imposed similar sanctions on former President Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and eight others.

What they're saying: "Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens," national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement Sunday.

  • "As Americans, we have our disagreements on politics," he added. "But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations."
  • "We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran," he added. "Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences."

Of note: The sanctions are more of a symbolic step as the Americans don't hold any assets in Iran for authorities to seize.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the statement from Sullivan.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 14, 2022 - World

North Korea fires projectile in 3rd launch this month, Seoul says

A news broadcast in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday of a North Korean missile test. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired an "unidentified projectile" eastward on Friday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, per Yonhap news agency.

Why it matters: North Korea's third launch in just over a week came hours after state media warned that its military would take "stronger and certain reaction" if the U.S. moved to have more sanctions imposed on the country.

Updated 28 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Swastikas found outside Union Station in D.C.

People walk through Union Station on Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Drawings of swastikas appeared etched around the entrance to Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning.

Driving the news: "An investigation is underway with Amtrak Police and the Metropolitan Police Department after swastikas were reported on the exterior of Washington Union Station on Friday," Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in a statement to Axios.