President Donald Trump has said the US killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani saved a lot of lives, calling him a “monster”.
Mr Trump said Soleimani “was planning a big attack” when he was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad last Friday.
But Mr Trump appeared to draw back from a threat to target Iran’s cultural sites should Tehran respond militarily.
Soleimani was buried in Iran on Tuesday, but a stampede at the funeral killed 50 people and injured 200 more.
In remarks at the Oval Office, President Trump also addressed the issue of Iraq, saying a US withdrawal of troops would be the worst thing for the country.
His comments came in the wake of a letter, which the US military said had been sent in error, to Iraq’s prime minister, apparently agreeing to a request by Iraqi MPs to pull troops out.
Soleimani’s killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran.
What are Mr Trump’s latest comments?
The president strongly defended the US drone strike, saying it was a case of retaliation.
“He was a monster. And he’s no longer a monster. He’s dead,” Mr Trump said. “He was planning a big attack and bad attack for us. I don’t think anyone can complain about it.”
The president said Soleimani had been “travelling with the head of Hezbollah” and a “lot of lives had been saved…