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Report: Iranian lawmaker announces $3 million bounty on Trump

President Donald Trump waits outside the West Wing of the White House for the arrival of Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar on July 9, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
January 21, 2020

Iranian lawmaker Ahman Hamzeh on Tuesday reportedly offered $3 million to anyone who kills President Donald Trump after he authorized an airstrike that killed Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani.

“On behalf of the people of Kerman Province, we will pay a $3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Hamzeh reportedly said, according to Iran’s state-run media, ISNA.

Hamzeh did not describe how such a bounty would be paid. It is also unclear if the bounty has the support of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but the leader has previously called for “severe revenge” for the killing of Soleimani.

Hamzeh also reportedly called for Iran to produce long-range missiles that could carry “unconventional warheads,” but did not specify the type of warheads they might be, Reuters reported.

Previously, it appeared as if Iran’s only retaliatory response to Soleimani’s killing would be the airstrikes on U.S. bases on Jan. 7, which damaged only equipment and structures. Trump also said that Iran would be backing down and tensions had de-escalated.

Trump authorized the airstrike against Soleimani on Jan. 2. Just a few hours later, Khamenei had replaced Soleimani with his deputy commander, Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani, who served under Soleimani since 1997.

Retired Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the killing is “more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden” and could help “reestablish deterrence” in Iran.

“[Soleimani] is responsible for providing explosives, projectiles, and arms and other munitions that killed well over 600 American soldiers and many more of our coalition and Iraqi partners just in Iraq, as well as in many other countries such as Syria,” Petraeus said. “So his death is of enormous significance.”

The Pentagon said in a statement that Soleimani, then the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s “elite” Quds Force, was actively planning an attack on the United States.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the statement added. “The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

The deputy commander of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Iraqi militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and PMF official Mohammed Reda were also killed in the airstrike.

Khamenei said called Soleimani a martyr and that severe revenge “awaits the criminals who have stained their hands with his & the other martyrs’ blood.”

Notably, Iran also backed out of its commitments to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that established uranium enrichment limits.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has since then stated that Iran is now enriching more uranium than before the 2015 agreement.