Amidst national mourning in Iran over the death of General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, a man announced a bounty of $80 million on US President Donald Trump. During the funeral procession of Soleimani, an unidentified Islamic eulogist declared the bounty, broadcasted live on a state TV station.
“We are 80 million Iranians. If each one of us puts aside one American dollar, we will have 80 million American dollars, and we will reward anyone who brings us Trump’s head with that amount,” said the eulogist to the huge crowd gathered in Mashhad.
The man went on to say that whoever brings the head of “yellow-haired lunatic” will get $80 million “on behalf of the great Iranian nation”. Meanwhile, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in a statement, said that it was not possible to hold the procession in Tehran due to the massive crowd. It said that the funeral procession needs to be cancelled and urged people to attend a ceremony honouring Soleimani at Tehran University on January 6.
At Solemani’s funeral procession in Mashad one of the organisers called on all Iranian to donate $1 each in order to gather an $80million bounty on President Trumps head. pic.twitter.com/Qb7AAfAiww— Ali Arouzi (@aliarouzi) January 5, 2020
On January 3, the United States announced that it killed General Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad’s international airport. After Soleimani’s death, Trump said that the United States terminated him because he was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel”.
In a televised briefing, he added that Iran’s top commander made the death of innocent people his “sick passion”, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London.
The situation has further escalated after Iran officially announced its exit from the 2015 nuclear deal. In 2015, Iran reached a historic nuclear deal with P5+1 group which included the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Iran, under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed to limit sensitive nuclear activities in lieu of lifting economic sanctions. However, the Trump administration, in May 2018, withdrew from the nuclear deal accusing Iran of violating the terms of JCPOA and followed it with crippling economic sanctions.