Iran

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces, targeting at least two military bases in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department announced late Tuesday.

The strikes on military and coalition personnel at the Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province and in Irbil — at the center of Iraq's Kurdistan region — began at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, according to a statement.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the strike, saying it was an act of "self-defense."

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET Sunday

As thousands of mourners flooded the streets of Iran on Sunday to mourn the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a series of dizzying developments convulsed the Middle East, generating new uncertainty around everything from the future of U.S. forces in Iraq to the battle against ISIS and the effort to quell Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Amid the fallout of the U.S. drone strike on Friday that killed Soleimani, Sunday saw the following whiplash-inducing developments unfold almost simultaneously:

Ron Cogswell with permission via Creative Commons

This story was update at 4:15 pm with Sen. Joe Manchin's statement. 

Congressional members around the Ohio Valley offered mixed reactions to the U.S. airstrike that killed one of Iran’s top military officers and pushed the two countries closer to war. 

Most statements from regional lawmakers pointed to Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani’s record of orchestrating violent attacks on U.S. personnel, and many Republicans praised President Donald Trump for ordering the drone missile strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad.  

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

President Trump has tweeted what experts say is almost certainly an image from a classified satellite or drone, showing the aftermath of an accident at an Iranian space facility.

"The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir [Space Launch Vehicle] Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran," the president said in a tweet that accompanied the image on Friday. "I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One."

America and Iran used to be close allies, but since the Iranian Revolution began in 1979, the relationship has been akin to a bad divorce. After President Trump’s announcement to pull the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, cable news has been abuzz with political pundits and foreign policy scholars reacting to the latest chapter of the tortured relationship. But there are Iranian and American love stories that have worked out.

Us & Them

"In the beginning of the so-called revolution, there was no talk of overthrowing the regime. When it started, there was some political oppression by the government, the shah. But socially, there were a lot of freedom, people could do anything, even you could criticize the government, but not the shah himself."

The U.S. and five of its allies have reached a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The deal will limit the country’s ability to enrich uranium and opens Iran up to international inspections.

The agreement was reached by diplomats from seven countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in the hopes of preventing Iran from enriching enough uranium to create a nuclear weapon, but the deal will still have to receive approval from Congress before taking effect.

Economic sanctions against Iran would be phased out as part of the deal, but West Virginia’s Senatorial delegation is hesitant to say if they will support the agreement.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senator Shelley Moore-Capito joined with 46 other senators this month in signing an open letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a news conference earlier this week, Capito commented on the action calling the letter "straight forward," and not a significant move.