TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday offered a $3 million reward to “anyone who kills” US President Donald Trump to avenge the assassination of a top general, semi-official news agency ISNA reported.
Ahmad Hamzeh, a little-known member of the Majlis, made the offer on behalf of the people of Kerman, the hometown and final resting place of the powerful Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
“We will give $3 million to anyone who kills Trump,” Hamzeh, who represents Kahnouj county near the southeastern city of Kerman, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
He did not say who would pay the bounty offer, which comes a month ahead of a parliamentary election.
Soleimani, one of the most popular public figures in Iran, was killed on January 3 in US drone strike outside Baghdad airport.
Iranian politician announces $3million reward for 'whoever kills Trump'
Ahmad Hamzeh, Iranian lawmaker from Kerman province, spoke to parliament pic.twitter.com/JTNreYx1Cc
— Afsar Ali Shah (@AfsarQresidency) January 21, 2020
His successor on Monday threatened that there are “freedom-seekers” all over the world who want to avenge Soleimani’s death, adding that Tehran’s enemies only understand the “language of force.”
“They hit General Soleimani in a cowardly act, but there are freedom-seekers across the world who want to revenge for him with God’s help, and God willing, we will hit his enemy chivalrously,” said Gen. Esmail Ghaani at a ceremony in Tehran.
“Our enemy understands no language but force and therefore, we should stand against them strongly,” he added, according to the Fars news agency.
The Quds Force is part of the 125,000-strong Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary organization that answers only to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Guard oversees Iran’s ballistic missile program, has its naval forces shadow the US Navy in the Persian Gulf and includes an all-volunteer Basij force.
US President Donald Trump ordered the drone strike in Iraq on January 3 that killed Soleimani. At the time, Trump said the Quds Force head was planning attacks against US troops in the region, but White House officials have since given different justifications for the killing, including one of deterrence.
In response to the drone strike, Iran fired volleys of ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing US troops. There were no reported casualties at the time but it has since been revealed that eight US troops suffered injuries.
The strike exacerbated tensions between the US and Iran, which have been steadily escalating since Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear accord. The agreement, negotiated under the US administration of Barack Obama, had imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
The US has since imposed crippling sanctions on Iran, including its vital oil and gas industry, pushing the country into an economic crisis that has ignited several waves of sporadic, leaderless protests.