President Donald Trump said on Friday that "Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation."
The remark, which came in a tweet, was his first statement responding to an American airstrike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force.
A short time later, Trump posted a two-part tweet in which he tried to justify Soleimani's killing.
"General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more...but got caught! He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people, including the recent large number of PROTESTERS killed in Iran itself. While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!" he wrote.
Iran has vowed "harsh retaliation" for the U.S. airstrike.
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