'Never threaten the Iranian nation,' Rouhani warns Trump

Thursday, 09 Jan, 2020

Iran is considering 13 scenarios to avenge the killing of a top Iranian military commander in Iraq by a United States drone attack, a senior Tehran official said on Tuesday as the general's body was brought to his hometown for burial.

But since the escalation of tensions between the two states over the weekend, following Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani's death by a USA airstrike at Baghdad Airport on Friday, Iran announced it was scrapping all commitments made under the 2015 accord.

Under the newly adopted Bill, all U.S. forces and employees of the Pentagon and affiliated organisations, agents and commanders and those who ordered the "martyrdom" of Maj-Gen Soleimani were designated as "terrorists".

Tehran's streets were packed with black-clad mourners Monday as a sea of people turned out to pay their respects to Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed by a USA drone strike in Baghdad last week.

A stampede erupted on Tuesday at a funeral procession for a top Iranian general killed in a US airstrike last week, killing 32 people and injuring 190 others, state television reported.

Salami praised Soleimani's exploits and said as a martyr, he represented an even greater threat to Iran's enemies.

In Iraq, pro-Iranian factions in parliament have pushed to oust American troops from Iraqi soil following Soleimani's killing.

"It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil", read the statement.

Washington had already carried out a series of airstrikes in Iraq targeting Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group the U.S. held responsible for a series of rocket attacks on American facilities that killed a United States contractor.

According to a report on Tuesday by the semi-official Tasnim news agency, Iran has worked up 13 sets of plans for revenge for Soleimani's killing.

Asked for his thoughts on President Trump warning Iran that the USA will hit 52 sites, including cultural sites, if Tehran retaliates the California Democrat said: "None of that could come out of the Pentagon". Tehran denied responsibility, although it did seize oil tankers around the crucial Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's crude oil travels.

Mr Trump said the United States had identified 52 Iranian sites, some "at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture", and warned they would be "hit very fast and hard" if Tehran carried out revenge attacks on U.S. interests or personnel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have urged Iran to "withdraw all measures" not in line with the deal. Similar chants were also heard from Iranian politicians during a parliamentary session in Tehran, the report adds. They're allowed to torture and maim our people.

Iran's mission to the United Nations had said: "We have seen the media reports, but we have not received any official communication from either the USA or the UN regarding Foreign Minister Zarif's visa". That's a much-harsher step than they had planned to take before the attack.

Meanwhile, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric declined to comment on the U.S. denial of a visa for Zarif.

Any party to the deal that believes another is not meeting its commitments can refer the issue to a Joint Commission comprising Iran, Russia, China, the three European powers and the EU.

Hoffman said the U.S.is "working on initial battle damage assessments".