DONALD Trump snapped and ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani after being goaded on Twitter, it is reported.
But the strike was reportedly only ordered after the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini tweeted him saying: “You can’t do anything.”
Trump briefed on a string of options on December 28 to respond to rocket attacks on US bases in Iraq that killed one American, The Times reports.
Those options included taking out Soleimani – but the US president is said to have decided it would be too risky, instead deciding to strike the Iran-backed militia that carried out the attacks.
But he was reportedly shocked when protesters stormed the US embassy in Baghdad, burning part of the building.
The shocking scenes are said to have reminded him of the infamous 1979 hostage crisis, when the US embassy in Tehran was stormed by protesters and 52 hostages taken.
You can’t do anything.”
He tweeted: “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.”
But his stern warning was met with taunts from the Ayatollah, who replied: “That guy has tweeted that we see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and we will respond to Iran . . . You can’t do anything.”
Trump then snapped and reached for the option he had overlooked, it is reported.
Soleimani, 62, was killed by two missiles fired from a MQ9 Reaper drone, which struck the general after he arrived at Baghdad airport.
Trump claimed he ordered the strike because Soleimani was plotting further attacks.
Thousands of Iranians flooded the streets of Tehran for Qasem Soleimani’s funeral on Monday.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept over the general’s casket during his prayers as mourners waved flags and demanded revenge.
And thousands more turned out in his home town of Kerman today, sparking a stampede which left 40 dead and 213 injured.
US and Iran – a troubled history
- Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America’s biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
- However, since the seismic revolt, Iran has been led by murderous Islamic fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
- On November 4, 1979, the Iranian regime took 52 US diplomats hostage in response to President Carter’s administration allowing Iran’s deposed former leader into America.
- The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days and also included a failed rescue mission which cost the lives of eight US soldiers.
- In April 1980, the US ended diplomatic relations with Iran – a break which lasted for more than 30 years.
- In April 1983, Washington blamed the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah for carrying out a bombing attack on the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
- The assault, carried out amid a brutal civil war in Lebanon, killed 17 Americans.
- In November of that year, two truck bombs in Beruit killed 241 US peace keepers. The US again blamed Hezbollah for the incident.
- The Clinton White House, in 1995, placed a total embargo on Iran meaning US companies could not trade with the country.
- And in 2002, George W Bush included the Islamic Republic in his famous “Axis of evil” speech along with North Korea and Iraq.
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