Donald Trump threatens to attack 52 targets in Iran
The US president wants to prevent retaliation after the killing of Soleimani. He threatens that the US will react militarily to an attack by Iran.
US President Donald Trump has issued clear warnings to Iran about acts of revenge after the fatal US airstrike on General Kassem Soleimani. If Iran should attack US citizens or American institutions, there is a list of 52 key Iranian targets that would then be attacked, Trump wrote on Twitter. The leadership in Tehran vowed vengeance for the death of Soleimani, who was considered the best-known face of the Iranian military abroad and is considered a martyr by many compatriots. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards are expecting millions of Iranians to attend funeral marches and ceremonies in his honour on Sunday.
On Twitter, Trump advised the Iranians against acts of retaliation: the places on the list that are very significant for the Islamic Republic and its culture would otherwise “be attacked very quickly and very hard”, he wrote in capital letters – as well as the word “warning”. Trump closed his tweet series with the words: “The USA no longer want threats!”
Trump justified the number of 52 selected locations with reference to “52 American hostages”. He was referring to the embassy occupation 40 years ago: Iranian students occupied the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979 to demonstrate against the overthrow of the ousted Shah Reza Pahlavi in the United States. They took 52 US embassy officials hostage and demanded the extradition of the Shah. Washington imposed sanctions, and the hostage-taking ended after 444 days. At the time, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran because of the incident.
According to the US government, the attack on Soleimani took place in Baghdad on Friday night to prevent further attacks on US diplomats and emergency forces that he planned. Iran spoke of a “terrorist act” by the United States for which they would “pay a high price”.