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Soleimani Killing: Tehran Offers $80m Bounty for Trump’s Head

Bounty worth about $80 million has been placed on Donald Trump’s head in Iran in the wake of General Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by United States (U.S.) drone.
This came as President Donald Trump threatened severe sanctions against Iraq after its parliament called on U.S. troops to leave the country.
During the televised funeral of Soleimani, an unidentified eulogist speaking on official state television, said one U.S. dollar should be tabled for every Iranian in the country, with the cash going to whoever killed the U.S. President.
“Iran has 80 million inhabitants. Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80million (£61million), which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump,” it was announced, according to en24.
It is not thought the bounty has been backed by government officials.
Tehran vowed revenge at the heart of the U.S. after the Quds Force general was killed by a Reaper drone last Friday at Baghdad airport.
The attack took long-running hostilities between Washington and Tehran into uncharted territory and raised the spectre of wider conflict in the Middle East.
Trump threatens Iraq
Trump, while threatening severe sanctions against Iraq after its parliament called on U.S. troops to leave the country, told reporters: “We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it.
The new head of Iran’s Quds force – which Soleimani led – has vowed to expel the U.S. from the Middle East.
“We promise to continue martyr Soleimani’s path with the same force… and the only compensation for us would be to remove America from the region,” state radio quoted Esmail Qaani as saying.
Speaking from the presidential plane, Trump said that if Iraq asked U.S. forces to depart on an unfriendly basis, “we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before, ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
Some 5,000 U.S. soldiers are in Iraq as part of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group.
NATO to Iran: avoid ‘further violence and provocations’
Iran has been urged to avoid “further violence and provocations” by NATO’s General Secretary, following emergency talks on the growing crisis in the Middle East.
Jens Stoltenberg said all members of the Atlantic alliance stood behind the United States in the Middle East, after a U.S. drone strike killed the Iranian military commander last week.
Speaking after the meeting on Iran and Iraq, in which the U.S. briefed its allies about the deadly drone strike, Stoltenberg also called for a de-escalation of tension, echoing the statements of some European leaders

Germany, France and the UK

The leaders of Germany, France and the UK – which were all signatories to the 2015 deal, alongside China and Russia – responded with a joint statement urging Iran to refrain from “further violent action or proliferation”.
“It is crucial now to de-escalate. We call on all the players involved to show utmost restraint and responsibility,” they said.
Khamenei leads huge crowds at commander’s funeral

Huge crowds yesterday packed the streets of the Iranian capital Tehran for the funeral of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei led the prayers and at one point was seen weeping.
State television showed huge crowds in Tehran for the event. It put the number who turned out as “millions” although could not be verified.
Some people cried, while others clutched pictures of the late commander. Mourners passed Soleimani’s coffin over their heads and “death to America” chants were heard.
His daughter Zeinab Soleimani warned the U.S. that it faced a “dark day”.
Top EU diplomat expresses regret over Iran’s jettison of nuclear deal
EUROPEAN Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell yesterday expressed regret over Iran’s decision to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Borrell said the implementation of the agreement’s provisions by all the parties had never been more important.
On Sunday, Iran announced the abandonment of its final limitations on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and said that it had no more restrictions regarding its nuclear programme development.
Meanwhile, Tehran aims to continue cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It also plans to resume the implementation of its commitments in case the U.S. lifts sanctions and respects interests of Iran envisaged in the nuclear deal.
“Deeply regret Iran’s latest announcement on #JCPOA.
“As ever we will rely on @iaeaorg verification.
“Full implementation of #NuclearDeal by all is now more important than ever, for regional stability & global security.
“I will continue working with all participants on way forward,” Borrell wrote on Twitter.
The JCPOA, commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal, was signed in 2015 between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries, comprising Russia, China, France, the UK, the U.S. plus Germany.
The EU is also a signatory to the deal that requires the Iranian authorities to scale back the country’s nuclear programme and uranium reserves, in return for sanctions relief.
In May 2018, the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the agreement and imposed economic sanctions on Iran.

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