Trump authorized Soleimani’s killing 7 months ago, with conditions

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Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016.
Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

 President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of an American, according to five current and former senior administration officials.

The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final sign-off on any specific operation to kill Soleimani, officials said.

That decision explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq, in which a U.S. contractor was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded, the officials said.

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