If Iran attacks Americans or US assets in response to Friday’s drone attack, the United States has 52 Iranian targets in mind. US President Donald Trump tweeted this on Saturday.
“Iran boldly talks about attacking some US targets as revenge because we have rid the world of their terrorist leader,” Trump said in a three-part tweet. He adds that Iran has been a problem for years.
“Let this be a warning. If Iran attacks Americans or American property, we will attack 52 Iranian sites.”
Some of these targets would be important for Iran and Iranian culture, Trump said. “Like Iran itself, those targets will be attacked very quickly and very hard.”
The number of 52, according to Trump, represents the 52 American hostages that were held hostage for a long time in 1979 in the American embassy in Tehran.
The Pentagon refuses to comment on Trump’s statements.
Trump shows no signs to relieve the tension that has arisen in the Middle East. On Friday, an American drone attack at the airport of the Iraqi capital Baghdad killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis.
On Saturday evening, four rockets landed in Baghdad, including one near the highly secured American embassy. No people were injured. The attack has not yet been claimed. The attack is seen as a potentially dangerous escalation in the “shadow war” between Iran and the United States in the Middle East.
The White House officially informed the US Congress on Saturday evening that a drone attack was being carried out on Iraqi territory on Friday. According to American law, notification of a military action must be sent to the parliament within 48 hours.
What is in the message is secret. According to national security adviser Robert O’Brien, the US had a legitimate reason for the attack, and the decision was approved by the Justice Department lawyers.
According to President Nancy Pelosi of the House of Representatives, the notification “raises serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of this government’s decision to take hostile actions against Iran”. Pelosi said earlier that the attack was carried out without prior consultation and approval from Congress.
On Sunday, the remains of Qassem Soleimani were taken back to Iran by military aircraft. In the city of Ahvaz, where the coffin covered with the Iranian flag arrived, thousands of people dressed in black mourned the perished general.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has announced three days of national mourning for Soleimani on Saturday. In Baghdad, tens of thousands of people were already on Saturday with a funeral procession for Soleimani and Al Muhandis.