Tensions sparked on Sunday, January 5th, when Iran threatened the United States of America of military action following the killing of top military commander Qassem Soleimani, who headed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Images showing a sea of mourners gathered at the procession of the Iranian leader flooded the internet and sparked outrage. In the aftermath of the attack, Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” for the death of Soleimani and on Sunday, pulled back from the 2015 nuclear deal.
As the mourners took to streets, Soleimani’s daughter, Zeinab Soleimani, warned the United States of a “dark day” following her father’s death.
#UPDATE Mourners pack the streets of Tehran for ceremonies to pay homage to top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad https://t.co/y6vyF8onvt pic.twitter.com/fTv08eR1KH
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 6, 2020
Later on Sunday, the Iranian state TV reported that in retaliation, Iran’s government announced that it would no longer abide by any limitations on its enrichment of uranium. According to a report, this could be a final blow to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord that was negotiated by the Obama administration, which was later withdrawn in 2018 by President Donald Trump, who pulled the US away from the agreement.
In response, President Trump allegedly warned to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Tehran attacks americans or US interests in a series of tweets. He also threatened “severe sanctions” against Iraq if US troops leave.
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive airbase that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” he told the reporters.
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some 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. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
While countries like China are calling in for restraint, many Democrats have criticised Trump for failing to seek approval or notifying Congress of the attack.
As tensions escalate between Iran and the United States, Iran on Sunday also declared an $80 million bounty on US President Donald Trump. According to a report by mirror.co.uk, during the televised funeral procession of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the broadcasters announced that $1 would be tabled for every Iranian in the country and would be given to whoever killed the US President.
“Iran has 80 million inhabitants. Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80 million which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump,” it was announced.
According to a report by the BBC, Soleimani was hailed as a national hero in Iran and was widely considered as the second-most powerful man in the country closely following the Supreme leader Khamenei.