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As Iran prepares to bury Soleimani, Iraq expecting U.S. troop withdrawal

As U.S. officials defended President Trump’s decision to kill the Iranian Quds Force commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad, Iranian leaders stepped up calls Tuesday for revenge against the United States.

The calls for retaliation came as Iranian authorities prepared to bury Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman, a city in the southeast of the country. Early on Tuesday, authorities were forced to suspend the burial proceedings after a deadly stampede killed scores of mourners.

Here’s what we know so far:

● Iranian state news agencies reported that at least 50 people died and more than 200 were injured in a stampede during funeral ceremonies in Soleimani’s hometown.

● Security council head Ali Shamkhani said 13 scenarios for retaliation are being considered, and specifically mentioned that U.S. bases in the region were under surveillance.

● Iran’s foreign minister said the United States denied him a visa to attend a United Nations meeting in New York.

● The Trump administration is drawing up potential sanctions against Iraq if the country’s leaders go through with plans to order the expulsion of U.S. troops for killing Soleimani on Iraqi soil.

● Iraq’s prime minister is interpreting a letter from the U.S. military as a “withdrawal announcement,” even as Pentagon officials describe its sharing as a mistake, according to Iraqi officials.

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