A member of Iran’s parliament has called for placing a bounty on US President Donald Trump’s head in response to a drone strike that killed Tehran’s senior military commander, Qassem Soleimani.
The statement was made by Ahmad Hamzeh, a lawmaker from the southern Kerman Province, whose namesake capital is Soleimani’s hometown.
“On behalf of the people of Kerman Province, we will pay a 3 million dollar award in cash to whoever kills Trump,” Hamzeh said in a speech to fellow lawmakers on Tuesday, as quoted by Iranian news outlets.
Hamzeh also said that Iran would be protected from attacks and threats by the US if it had nuclear weapons, adding that Tehran must consider developing “long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads.”
US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood rebuked Hamzeh’s suggestion to place a bounty on Trump. “It’s just ridiculous but it gives you a sense of the terrorist underpinnings of that regime and that regime needs to change its behavior,” the diplomat told reporters at a disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
Earlier in January, a video circulated on social media during Soleimani’s funeral, in which an unnamed eulogist reportedly proposed to put an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head.
Major General Soleimani, who led the elite Quds force – a unit within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps tasked with operations abroad – was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq on January 3. Officials in Washington accused Soleimani of plotting terrorist attacks and claimed that his death had saved the lives of American personnel and civilians.
Iran responded to Soleimani’s death by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing US troops. Tehran, however, warned Iraq of the incoming attack, which allowed the US to move its troops to safety. The missiles caused some damage to the bases but there were no American casualties. Washington chose not to respond militarily to the barrage, and promised new sanctions instead.