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'A Big Victory:' Utah Congressmen And Senators React To Killing of Iranian General Soleimani

Photo of Sen. Mitt Romney
KUER file
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, called top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani a "depraved terrorist" and promised to push the Trump administration for more details on his death.

U.S. forces killed a top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in a targeted airstrike at the Baghdad airport early Friday morning local time. The U.S. Department of Defense said Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” Iran said it will will retaliate harshly.

While the action was taken without Congressional approval, it was widely applauded, including almost all of Utah’s congressional delegation. Still, most of Utah’s delegates sought more information and legal justification for the strike. 

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations and the Senate Homeland Security committees, called Soleimani a “depraved terrorist … who was doubtlessly planning operations to further harm our citizens,” in a statement released Thursday night. 

Romney promised to push for more information from the Trump administration, arguing, “It is imperative that the U.S. and our allies articulate [and] pursue a coherent strategy for protecting our security interests in the region.” 

Ben McAdams, Utah’s lone Democratic representative, echoed Romney’s sentiments, telling KUER that Soleimani “has received the justice he deserved.” 

McAdams also said he would work to gather more information from the Trump administration and Congress about why this attack occurred and what risks it presents to the United States. 

“What I want to see is a coherent long-term strategy to protect the interests of the United States,” McAdams said. 

Sen. Mike Lee called Soleimani’s death a “big victory” in a statement released Friday morning. He added that he wanted to hear the legal justification for the strike. 

Rep. Chris Stewart, an outspoken champion of Trump, thanked him for his leadership and wrote on Twitter, “the world is a safer place without” Soleimani. 

“Iran needs to be careful in their next step, for we will continue to be committed to defending American lives in the region,” Stewart wrote on Twitter. He did not demand more information from the Trump administration on why they chose to kill Soleimani.

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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