Iran Lawmaker Will Reportedly Award $3 Million To 'Whoever Kills Trump'
Topline: Iranian lawmaker Ahman Hamzeh has reportedly offered a $3 million reward for the assassination of President Trump, according to Reuters, and called for the country to produce long-range missiles less than a month after the killing of famed military commander Qassem Soleiman.
- Hamzeh is from Kerman province, which is Soleimani’s hometown.
- “On behalf of the people of Kerman province, we will pay a $3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Hamzeh reportedly said Tuesday, with Reuters citing Iran’s state-run media.
- It remains unclear if the $3 million reward has support from Iran’s clerical leaders, according to Reuters.
- Hamzeh also reportedly called for the production of “long-range missiles” that could carry “unconventional warheads,” but did not say what those warheads should be.
- Iran has, however, ended its commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and designed to prevent the country from having a nuclear weapon.
- Without the nuclear deal, Iran could shorten the amount of time needed to build a nuclear weapon, but said it would still cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, a watchdog that promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Key background: Soleimani, a revered military leader of the elite Quds forces in the Middle East, was killed by a U.S. drone strike January 3 near Baghdad airport. His death brought already escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran to new heights, with Iran retaliating by launching ballistic missiles at Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops. The morning after the retaliation, Trump said that Iran appeared to be standing down. During that time, Iran said it would stop abiding by the nuclear deal negotiated in 2015 by the Obama administration and other world powers in an effort to curb the country’s nuclear weapons development. The deal said that Iran would slow uranium enrichment and submit to international inspections while the U.S. would lift sanctions that were crippling the Iranian economy. But in 2018 Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal and reimposed sanctions, saying that the deal was “one-sided” and wasn’t tough enough on Iran.
Tangent: Iran also confirmed Tuesday that it fired two Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles when it mistakenly downed a Ukrainian airliner on January 8, killing all 176 aboard. Both the Associated Press and the New York Times previously obtained video appearing to show two missiles hitting the plane.