January 13, 2020 / 5:14 PM / 9 days ago

U.S. House chairman 'frustrated' Pompeo refused to testify on Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference in the Press Briefing Room at the State Department in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee said on Monday he was “disappointed and frustrated” that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had declined to testify at a committee hearing on Iran set for Tuesday.

“Each passing day raises new questions about the strike that killed General Soleimani. Was there really an imminent threat? Was it part of a larger operation? What was the legal justification? What is the path forward?” the committee’s chairman, Representative Eliot Engel, said in a statement.

The Democratic-led committee said last week it had called Pompeo to testify, as members of Congress pushed President Donald Trump’s administration for more information about the killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

The State Department declined comment.

The House on Thursday passed, largely along party lines, a resolution that would stop Trump from further military action against Iran, rebuking the president as mostly Democratic members of Congress expressed frustration at the administration’s shifting explanations for the strike on Iraqi soil against the Iranian.

There has been no announcement of when the measure might come up for a vote in the Senate.

Engel said his committee, which oversees the State Department, hoped to hear from Pompeo soon.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Steve Orlofsky

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