Up to 40 people killed in a stampede at Soleimani's funeral in Iran
US officials claim that Iran's leader has ordered a "direct attack on American interests".
CBS News have reported that as many as 40 people have been killed and 200 more have been injured due to a stampede at the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds military force.
Soleimani's funeral was originally scheduled for today, but officials have been forced to postpone, as officials were concerned about the huge crowds that gathered. Pirhossein Koulivand, the head of Iran's emergency medical services, said "Unfortunately as a result of the stampede, some of our compatriots have been injured and some have been killed during the funeral processions."
Soleimani was killed in an airstrike in Iraq on Friday, and since then, the Iranian government says it will no longer abide by key terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, lifting restrictions on centrifuges, uranium enrichment and more.
A senior U.S. official told CBS News that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered a direct attack on American interests in retaliation for the airstrike, and the official also stated that the U.S. military was "extremely concerned" that the retaliation could come quickly.
President Trump has recently stated in response to the potential retaliation action: "If it happens it happens. If they do anything, there will be major retaliation."
Earlier this week, the heads of governments of Germany, France and the UK issued a statement regarding the recent events in Iraq: "There is now an urgent need for de-escalation. We call on all parties to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility. The current cycle of violence in Iraq must be stopped."