Trump to Iran: Retaliate at Your Peril

President says US has 52 targets ready to go if Iran strikes back
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2020 6:11 AM CST
Trump: We Have 52 Iranian Targets Lined Up
Mourners step over US flags with pictures of President Trump while waiting for the funeral of Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

The war of words between President Trump and Iran is intensifying after the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, with Trump taking to Twitter on Saturday to threaten to take out 52 Iranian targets should Tehran deign to respond. "Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have.........targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!" Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded, notes NBC News, accusing the administration of "grave breaches" of international law and threatening a "war crime" in targeting a cultural site. "That is, a big(ly) 'no no'," he tweeted.

The Hill reports that the administration formally notified Congress on Saturday of the strike that killed Soleimani, but that the entire document was classified, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "raises more questions than it answers." Meanwhile, CNN reports that a US government website was hacked and left to show an image of Trump's bloodied face with an Islamic Revolutionary Guard fist to it. "The website of the Federal Depository Library Program was defaced with pro-Iranian, anti-US messaging," said a Homeland Security rep. "There is no confirmation that this was the action of Iranian state-sponsored actors. The website was taken off line and is no longer accessible." (More President Trump stories.)

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