Iran vows revenge as President Trump threatens Iraq with sanctions

U.S. & World

Iran’s president: “Never threaten the Iranian nation”

(CBS News)- Hassan Rouhani, president of the Islamic Republic, responded to President Trump’s threat to target 52 sites if Iran retaliates for the Soleimani strike.

President Trump said the number was a reference to 52 Americans who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days between 1979 and 1981, after the revolution.

Rouhani issued his response on Twitter, with a warning to “never threaten the Iranian nation”:

Rouhani’s reference to 290 and IR655 is a reference to Iran Air Flight 655, a passenger jet that was shot down by U.S. missiles over the Persian Gulf in 1988. All 290 people on board were killed. 

The U.S. acknowledged the incident as a “terrible human tragedy” and agreed to pay $131.8 million in a settlement with Iran before the International Court of Justice in 1998.

What you need to know

  • Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, was killed early Friday in an airstrike in Baghdad. Thousands of people have mourned him in both Iraq and Iran.
  • The Iranian government says it will no longer abide by key terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, lifting restrictions on centrifuges, uranium enrichment and more. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2018.
  • The Iraqi Parliament approved a resolution calling on the government to expel some 5,000 U.S. troops from the country. President Trump said “we are not leaving unless they pay us back” for an air base in Iraq. 
  • Mr. Trump says his administration “may discuss” releasing the intelligence that led to the strike on Soleimani. 
  • Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday that the U.S. would target 52 Iranian sites if Iran retaliates for the strike. 
  • The White House sent a formal notification to Congress about the airstrike as required by the War Powers Act.
  • Lawmakers are divided over the strike, with Republicans applauding Mr. Trump’s action and Democrats warning about the possible repercussions. 

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