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Curtis Thompson

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

Mike Barnhill asserts in his Jan. 13 LTE that Trump created a "provocation" when he ordered the killing of Soleimani, and calls it an "assassination." Neither is true.

When the Ayatollah Khomeini took control of Iran, the USA's embassy was seized. That action constituted an act of war. Money due Iran for sales of jets to the Shah government was frozen to punish Iran for its violation of U.S. territory when it seized our embassy. All subsequent administrations kept the money frozen until the Obama administration released it as part of the agreement it thought would keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. $1.5 billion dollars in cash was sent to Iran in addition to releasing $150 billion to Iran as part of that agreement. Because money is fungible, the money passed to Iran under that agreement has been used to finance terrorism and the attacks on U.S. forces and facilities.

Since the 1980s Islamist terrorists attacked our troops in Lebanon, shot down a plane over Scotland, hijacked airplanes, killed thousands of civilians in Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, and other Middle East countries, and attacking us on 9/11.

Iran increased its support of terrorists throughout the world following receipt of the money in 2013. It fomented civil wars in countries such as Yemen and Syria and financed terrorism in other countries in Africa and Europe. In 2019, it seized oil tankers, increased its terrorist activities, attacked a contractor in Iraq, killing an American, and tried to seize our embassy in Iraq. Because we had military assets close by and because Trump took immediate action by sending in the Marines, that attempt was thwarted, unlike what happened in Benghazi in 2012.

Soleimani was not "assassinated," he was killed as a terrorist who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers, the deaths of tens of thousands of Muslim opponents, and had organized terrorist attacks on the USA. Suleiman was branded by the United Nations as a terrorist and as a result, had been embargoed from travel outside Iran. He organized the attack on our embassy, and when he landed in Iraq, accompanied by at least two other terrorist leaders, they were lawfully taken out.

The recent protests in Iran against its government after it shot down a passenger airplane might result in a benefit to the entire world, thanks to the actions of President Trump.

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