Iran vows to go after Americans who killed top general

In this Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 file photo, Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks at a pro-government rally, in Tehran, Iran. (AP)
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Updated 20 September 2020

Iran vows to go after Americans who killed top general

  • Trump has stepped up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions since he pulled the US out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018

TEHRAN: The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened on Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general’s January killing during a US drone strike in Iraq.
The guard’s website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real.”
US President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that “if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we’re going to hit them 1000 times harder.”
The president’s warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani’s killing at Baghdad’s airport at the beginning of the year.
“We took out the world’s number one terrorist and the mass murderer of American troops and many, many troops and many people all over the world,” said Trump. “Qasem Soleimani is dead. He’s dead. Bad guy. Bad guy. Very bad guy.”
Salami rejected the report of an Iranian plot to assassinate Ambassador Lana Marks, but made clear that Iran intends to avenge the general’s death.
“Do you think we hit a female ambassador in return to our martyred brother?’ the general said. “We will hit those who had direct and indirect roles. You should know that everybody who had role in the event will be hit, and this is a serious message. We do prove everything in practice.”
In January, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting US soldiers in Iraq in response to the fatal drone strike.
Trump has stepped up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions since he pulled the US out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
Tehran has continued to expand its stockpile of enriched uranium and pressured other nations to offset the harm of US sanctions, while insisting it does not want to develop a nuclear weapon.


Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Updated 47 min 5 sec ago

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

  • Hariri immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan
  • He has previously led three governments in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.
Hariri said he would “form a cabinet of non politically aligned experts with the mission of economic, financial and administrative reforms contained in the French initiative roadmap.”
“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.
President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form a new cabinet to lift the country out of crisis after most parliamentary blocs backed his nomination.
Hariri, who has previously led three governments in Lebanon, stepped down almost a year ago under pressure from unprecedented protests against the political class.
“The president summoned... Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.
Hariri was backed by a majority of 65 lawmakers, while 53 abstained.
Lebanon is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades and still reeling from a devastating port blast that killed more than 200 people and ravaged large parts of Beirut in August.
Aoun warned Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, would have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption.
A relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, had been nominated in late August following the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government in the aftermath of the deadly port blast.
Adib had vowed to form a cabinet of experts, in line with conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue the corruption-ridden country from its worst ever economic crisis.
He faced resistance from some of the main parties however and threw in the towel nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon rudderless to face soaring poverty and the aftermath of its worst peacetime disaster.