U.S President Donald Trump has threatened “major retaliation” if Iran avenges the killing of its key Military Commander; warning of massive economic sanctions against ally Iraq if the country expels U.S troops based there.
The twin threats came as Iran announced it was further reducing compliance with a tattered international nuclear accord, ending limitations on numbers of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
The latest blow to the accord, which was meant to ensure Iran did not develop a nuclear weapon under cover of its nuclear industry, deepened the regional crisis set off by Friday’s killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Channels TV reports that President Trump ordered a US drone to fire a missile at Soleimani, one of the most influential people in Iran’s government, when he was near the Iraqi capital’s international airport.
Angry, black-clad mourners thronged the streets of Iran’s second city Mashhad on Sunday, January 5, 2020, to pay last respects to the remains of Soleimani and chant “death to America”, the reports added.
President Trump bluntly warned Iran against taking vengeance, repeating his insistence that U.S bombing targets could include Iran’s cultural heritage sites, which, according to critics, would qualify as a war crime under international law.
The U.S President had already threatened bombing of 52 unspecified targets in Iran if Tehran attacks U.S troops and interests in the region.