DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran condemned Donald Trump on Sunday as a “terrorist in a suit” after the U.S. president threatened to hit 52 Iranian websites exhausting if Tehran assaults Americans or U.S. belongings in retaliation for the killing of army commander Qassem Soleimani.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks following the U.S. Military airstrike towards Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., January three, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
“Like ISIS, Like Hitler, Like Genghis! They all hate cultures. Trump is a terrorist in a suit. He will learn history very soon that NOBODY can defeat ‘the Great Iranian Nation & Culture’,” Information and Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted.
Soleimani, Iran’s pre-eminent army commander, was killed on Friday in a U.S. drone strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport, an attack that has taken long-running hostilities between Washington and Tehran into uncharted territory and raised the specter of wider battle in the Middle East.
Soleimani was the architect of Tehran’s abroad clandestine and army operations as head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.
Giving no indication of looking for to defuse tensions after the strike he ordered, Trump issued a stern threat to the Islamic Republic.
In a sequence of tweets on Saturday he mentioned Iran “is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets” to avenge Soleimani’s dying.
Trump mentioned the United States has “targeted 52 Iranian sites” and that some had been “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
He mentioned the 52 targets represented the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran after being seized on the U.S. Embassy in 1979 throughout the nation’s Islamic Revolution.
Iran’s military chief, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, was quoted by state tv on Sunday as saying the United States lacked the braveness for army confrontation with Iran.
“In a potential conflict in the future, which I don’t think they (Americans) have the courage to carry out, there it will become clear where the numbers five and two will belong,” he mentioned.
Trump mentioned on Friday Soleimani had been plotting “imminent and sinister” assaults on U.S. diplomats and army personnel. Democratic critics mentioned the Republican president’s motion was reckless and risked extra bloodshed in a harmful area.
Thousands of mourners turned out to pay respects to the slain commander on Sunday after Soleimani’s physique was returned to Iran, the official IRIB information company reported.
FEAR OF WAR WITH SUPERPOWER
While many Iranians have rallied in to indicate grief over the dying of Soleimani, regarded as the nation’s second strongest determine after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, others fear that his dying would possibly push the nation to battle with a superpower.
On Friday, Khamenei promised harsh revenge and declared three days of mourning.
Soleimani’s physique was flown to town of Ahvaz in southwest Iran. IRIB posted a video clip of a casket wrapped in an Iranian flag being unloaded from a aircraft as a army band performed.
Thousands of mourners dressed in black marched by the streets of Ahvaz beating their chests in stay footage aired on state TV.
British overseas minister Dominic Raab mentioned on Sunday he had spoken to Iraq’s prime minister and president to induce efforts to alleviate tensions in the area following the U.S. strike.
Raab, who described Soleimani as a “regional menace” and mentioned he was sympathetic to the scenario the United States discovered itself in, mentioned he additionally deliberate to talk to Iran’s overseas minister.
“There is a route through which allows Iran to come in from out of the international cold,” he advised Sky News. “We need to contain the nefarious actions of Iran but we also need to de-escalate and stabilize the situation.”
Friday’s U.S. air strike additionally killed Iraqi militia chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iraq’s parliament was set to convene a unprecedented session on Sunday the place lawmakers advised Reuters they’d push for a vote on a decision requiring the federal government to request the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
“There is no need for the presence of American forces after defeating Daesh (Islamic State),” mentioned Ammar al-Shibli, a Shi’ite lawmaker and member of parliament’s authorized committee.
Despite many years of enmity between Iran and the United States, Iran-backed militia and U.S. troops fought aspect by aspect throughout Iraq’s 2014-2017 battle towards Islamic State militants.
Around 5,000 U.S. troops stay in Iraq, most of them in an advisory capability.
The militia had been integrated into authorities forces beneath the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces which Muhandis led.
Many Iraqis, together with opponents of Soleimani, have expressed anger at Washington for killing the 2 males on Iraqi soil and presumably dragging their nation into one other battle.
On Saturday night, a rocket fell inside Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone close to the U.S. embassy, one other hit the close by Jadriya neighborhood and two extra had been fired on the Balad air base north of town. No one was killed, the Iraqi army mentioned.
The U.S. strike adopted a spike in U.S.-Iranian hostilities in Iraq since final week when pro-Iranian militias attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after a lethal U.S. air raid on Kataib Hezbollah, a militia based by Muhandis. Washington accused the group of an attack on an Iraqi army base that killed an American contractor.
Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan in London, Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad, Babak Dehghanpisheh in Dubai; Writing by Frances Kerry; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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