There has been plenty of blustering from Iran following the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force.
Amid the possibility of retaliation, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to warn the Persian Gulf country that the U.S. has “targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago),” warning in all caps that the locations “WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”
This warning reportedly prompted Iranian MP Abolfazl Aboutorabi to counter with a threat to attack the White House.
“We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil,” Aboutorabi said, according to The Independent. “We have the power, and God willing we will respond in an appropriate time.”
Speaking at a “furious” parliament session on Sunday, as described by the U.K. paper, Aboutorabi said Iran “should crush America’s teeth.”
Calling Soleimani’s death at the hands of the U.S. “a declaration of war,” the hardline lawmaker insisted a swift, strong response was required.
“This is a declaration of war, which means if you hesitate you lose, “Aboutorabi stated. “When someone declares war do you want to respond to the bullets with flowers? They will shoot you in the head.”
Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and Soleimani was a principle player — seen as a little more than a terrorist, the general had American blood on his hands and was considered more dangerous than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Osama bin Laden.
Aboutorabi spoke of many options to attack American interests.
“There are tens of thousands of possibilities for us to respond,” he charged. “Responding to the Americans in open waters does not pose any problem for us in terms of international regulations. We can take our revenge inside Iraq or in open waters.”
The Independent noted that the MP “was an obscure lawmaker known for making incendiary remarks and suggested the claims should be treated with a large dose of skepticism.”
At the same time, Iraq’s parliament has reportedly voted to expel the U.S. military from the country, two days after Soleimani was killed by an airstrike at the Baghdad airport.
An impressed New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi tweeted:
BREAKING; #Iraq parliament votes to expel US military from Iraq.
PM Abdul Mahdi: “It’s time for American troops to leave.”
— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 5, 2020
“Lawmakers voted Sunday in favor of a resolution that calls for ending foreign military presence in the country,” the Associated Press reported. “The resolution’s main aim is to get the U.S. to withdraw some 5,000 U.S. troops present in different parts of Iraq.”
Shiite members, who are the majority in the Iraqi parliament, backed the measure, while many Sunni and Kurdish legislators who reportedly did not support the effort failed to show up.
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