Sunday 5 January 2020

Iranian MP claims Islamic Republic has power to 'attack the White House'

Donald Trump has prompted further condemnation after he threatened to strike 52 targets, some apparently civilian sites, if Iran retaliates over the US assassination of military commander Qassem Soleimani.

As bombs fell near the US embassy in Baghdad, the US president was labelled a “monster” and accused of plotting war crimes after promising swift retribution at high level targets “important to Iranian culture”.

Meanwhile, the Iranian parliament opened with politicians chanting “death to America”, as Iraq also held an emergency session in the face of pressure to expel the thousands of US troops stationed there to prevent an Isis resurgence.

"We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil. We have the power, and God willing we will respond in an appropriate time," said Abolfazl Abutorabi, a hardline MP, according to Iranian news agency ILNA .

The hardline lawmaker urged Iran "should crush America's teeth" in response to a question on whether and how the Islamic Republic would react to the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, in a furious parliamentary session held on Sunday

"This is a declaration of war, which means if you hesitate you lose," Mr Abutorabi added. "When someone declares war do you want to respond to the bullets with flowers? They will shoot you in the head."

The Independent's international correspondent, Borzou Daragahi, said the MP was an obscure lawmaker known for making incendiary remarks and suggested the claims should be treated with a large dose of scepticism.

He said Iran was not believed to have any missiles capable of reaching Washington DC, and an individual suicide attack would likely be the only realistic means of Tehran targeting the capital.

Any significant military action by Iran would have to be vetted and approved by its Supreme National Security Council, a body that includes Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and the leaders of the various branches of government and armed forces.

Mr Abutorabi also echoed previous suggestions that Iran could target ships in the Strait of Hormuz, where the Royal Navy was sent yesterday to escort ships.

"There are tens of thousands of possibilities for us to respond. 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."

(Source: Independent)

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