Iran looking to ‘retaliate’ over death of top scientist says expert
And journalist Hooman Mirghasemi, an analyst at Iran International TV, warned the US and Iran had come “incredibly close” to a disastrous full-blown war last year – with conflict a possibility even in the last days of the Trump administration. An account in the name of Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei the country’s Supreme Leader, was permanently suspended after the post, which shared a picture of the defeated former US President playing golf in the shadow of a drone.
Underneath was a message stating: “Both the murderers and those who ordered it should know that revenge may come at any time.”
Tasnim, a state-run news agency, shared the same image the day before – which was also the day after Mr Trump was officially replaced by Joe Biden, who beat him by more than seven million votes in the Presidential election of November 3.
An accompanying message warned: “Revenge is inevitable.”
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Tasnim’s account has also been banned, with a spokesman saying both messages contravened its abusive behaviour policy.
Mr Trump’s account is also blocked as a result of messages posted after his supporters stormed the US Capitol a bid to overturn the election result.
Journalist Hooman Mirghasemi, an analyst at Iran International TV, told Express.co.uk Mr Khamenei’s message was a call for vengeance against those who assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s IRGC’s Quds Force commander, at the start of last year.
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He added: “In other words, Trump and the US army.
“My field is International Relations and Security, and in this field, I have learnt that the slightest threat should be taken very seriously.
“The regime’s higher echelon unequivocally blames Donald Trump for killing Qassem Soleimani, and since Soleimani was such a high ranking general, revenge is a matter of prestige for the regime.
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“However, I am not saying that an attack is inevitable, but such blatant threats must be taken very seriously.”
Mr Mirghasemi said: “We came incredibly close to war under Donald Trump.
“Back in November 2020 there were reports about Trump asking his senior advisors regarding potential options for attacking Natanz, Iran’s main nuclear site. He eventually decided to call it off.”
Nor had that been the end of the matter, especially after the killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh, which Tehran has blamed on Israel.
Mr Mirghasemi explained: “Even during Trump’s last days in the White House there were talks of a last-ditch war with Iran.
“After Fakhrizadeh’s assassination, and on Soleimani’s first-year anniversary threats of revenge came from all levels of the Iranian regime.”
Tensions between Iran and the West have spiked significantly over the last two years, ever since Mr Trump’s decision to pull out of the JPOCA nuclear deal.
The USA has also imposed stringent sanctions on Iranian exports which have impacted the country’s economy.
Mr Biden has suggested his country could return to the pact – provided Iran strictly adheres to conditions including limits on the enrichment of uranium.
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