Tuesday, 21 Jan 2020

US State Dept abruptly cancels 2 classified Iran-related briefings

Washington D.C. , Jan 16 : The US State Department abruptly cancelled two classified congressional briefings related to the ongoing crisis with Iran, scheduled for Wednesday without providing any explanation, Senate and House aides told CNN.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee was slated to receive a briefing on embassy security while the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected to be briefed on the administration's Iran policy and authorities for the use of force before the last-minute schedule change.

Wednesday's House side briefing was originally going to focus on the situation in the African country of Burundi but the topic was changed to a global assessment of embassy security at the request of congressional staff after the strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

An aide further said that the request for the change of the topic was made on January 7.

"This has not been rescheduled. We don't know why it was cancelled," the aide was quoted as saying.

CNN reported on Monday that State Department officials involved in US embassy security were not made aware of imminent threats to four specific US embassies, further undermining President Donald Trump's claims that the top Iranian general he ordered killed earlier this month posed an imminent threat to the diplomatic outposts.

Without knowledge of any alleged threats, the State Department didn't issue warnings about specific dangers to any US embassy before the administration targeted Soleimani, Iran's second most powerful official, according to sources.

(ANI)