With the large loss of Canadian life, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Transport Minister Marc Garneau both expressed sympathy for the victims. Champagne announced that he was in touch with the Ukrainian government, and Garneau announced that Canada was offering assistance in the investigation. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted on transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims. On 14 January, Trudeau said tensions and escalation between Iran and the United States were responsible for the shootdown.
Shortly before the U.S. Department of Defense announced the strike, President Trump posted a U.S. flag on Twitter. The next morning, he held a public statement saying he had authorized the strike because Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister attacks" on Americans. He added, "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war." He also said he did not seek a regime change in Iran. On 4 January, Trump tweeted that 52 Iranian targets (representing the 52 American hostages in the 1979–81 Iran hostage crisis) had been selected if Iran "strikes any Americans, or American assets". Iranian President Rouhani responded to Trump's warning: "Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290", referring to the 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655, by a U.S. warship in which 290 were killed. Among those targets were Iranian "cultural sites", and Trump subsequently insisted he would not hesitate to destroy such targets even after some said it could be considered a war crime.More Info
The Iranian government initially denied responsibility for the airplane's destruction, but investigation by Western intelligence agencies and the general public revealed that the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched by Iran. Mass protests calling for the removal of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei broke out in Iran on 13 January in response to the shootdown and government denial, which ultimately resulted in the Iranian government admitting that it shot down the airliner.More Info
On 6 January, Russia and China were blamed by the U.S. because of "blocking a resolution condemning the attack on Washington's Baghdad embassy". According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, "Russia has offered Iraq their S-400 air defense system to protect their airspace". For only the second time since the start of the country's civil war nearly nine years ago, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, arrived in Syria to meet with its president, Bashar al-Assad, on 7 January. In another meeting, in Baghdad, on 6 January, Zhang Tao, the Chinese Ambassador, said to Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister al-Mahdi that "China is keen to increase security and military cooperation in Iraq."More Info
American politicians reacted along party lines. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell celebrated the attack, referring to Soleimani as "Iran's master terrorist". House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to the attacks as "provocative and disproportionate", and introduced a "war powers resolution" requiring Trump's administration to end hostilities with Iran not approved by Congress within 30 days. Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted "To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more." On the other hand, Senator Richard Blumenthal stated, "The present authorizations for use of military force in no way cover starting a possible new war. This step could bring the most consequential military confrontation in decades." The Democratic candidates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election, political challengers to Trump, largely condemned the airstrike. One candidate described the killing as a wag the dog incident, parallel to the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan by president Bill Clinton during his impeachment process.More Info
Some members of Congress, which generally was not consulted or briefed before the Soleimani strike, sought to restrict the president's ability to conduct future military operations against Iran without congressional consent. On 6 January 2020, House Speaker Pelosi announced plans to hold a vote within the week on limiting President Trump's war powers concerning Iran. On 8 January 2020, Pelosi announced that a vote will be held by the entire House on 9 January to limit President Trump's war powers concerning any future escalation of conflict with Iran. The House Rules Committee cleared the way for a full House vote by approving parameters which set up a two-hour debate on 9 January. The House vote is considered significant, as the U.S. Constitution provides that while the president may use the military to defend the country, any declaration of war must be approved by Congress (note that Congress has never declared war on anyone since World War II). Trump criticized the effort, arguing that congressional approval should not be needed to militarily engage Iran "because you have to be able to make split-second decisions sometimes".More Info
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