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Report: Iran MP threatens attack on White House: ‘We can attack the White House itself…’

Helicopters flying over the White House. (MaxPixel/Released)
January 05, 2020

A member of Iran’s parliament on Sunday suggested Iran can retaliate against U.S. escalations in the Middle East with its own attacks on U.S. soil, including at the White House.

Abolfazl Abutorabi, a hardline member of Iran’s parliament, urged Iran to treat a U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general as an act of war, warranting immediate response, according to The Independent.

“We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil. We have the power, and God willing we will respond in an appropriate time,” Abutorabi said in comments first circulated by Iran’s ILNA news agency.

Abutorabi made his comments during parliamentary debates as to how the Iranian government should respond to the U.S. strike in Baghdad, Iraq that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani. For Abutorabi, the answer was that Iran “should crush America’s teeth.”

“This is a declaration of war, which means if you hesitate you lose,” he said. “When someone declares war do you want to respond to the bullets with flowers? They will shoot you in the head.”

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Abutorabi’s comments come only shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump’s own remarks on Saturday, suggesting 52 potential targets for U.S. strikes in Iran, if Iran chooses to take a retaliatory action for the death of their general. Among those targets, Trump suggested places of significance to Iran and its culture, but did not list specifics; only that the U.S. would hit “VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

An Iranian general has also threatened attacks on U.S. Navy warships in the region, among a list of 35 total targets of potential retaliatory attacks.

According to The Independent’s correspondent Borzou Daragahi, Abutorabi has been a relatively obscure member of parliament with a reputation for incendiary remarks, though those remarks should be treated with some skepticism.

Further, Daragahi said Iran does not possess missile capabilities to reach the U.S., so an individual suicide attacker sponsored by Tehran would likely be the only way to coordinate such an attack in Washington D.C.