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Iran's President to Trump: 'Remember the Number 290'

He warns Trump not to threaten Iran and its cultural sites
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2020 3:38 PM CST

(Newser) – Iranian police say millions of people flocked to Tehran for Gen. Qasem Soleimani's Monday funeral, and the AP says it seems that at least 1 million would be an accurate figure based on aerial footage and its own journalists. But in a piece for the Washington Post, Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad urges skepticism. "In the city of Ahvaz, where large numbers of people turned out to mourn Soleimani, the government has forced students and officials to attend," she writes. "It provided free transport and ordered shops to shut down." One of those who was willingly there: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who "broke down in tears four times while offering Muslim prayers for the dead," per the AP. More:

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  • A nugget from the New York Times surfaced by the Week: Soleimani's killing represents a first since WWII—that's the last time the US took out a "major military leader" in another country. Japanese admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed when the US shot down the plane he was in.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports the White House on Saturday provided Congress with a notification of the Friday strike that took out Soleimani as required by law. The contents—which the Journal says would cover the "circumstances necessitating" the action, the "constitutional and legislative authority" for it, and "the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities"—were classified. Top Senate Democrats including Chuck Schumer and ranking Foreign Relations Committee member Robert Menendez are calling on it to be declassified and made available to the public.
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took to Twitter to respond to President Trump's threat to target 52 sites of cultural importance if Iran retaliated for Soleimani's killing. "Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655 Never threaten the Iranian nation." Trump's 52 referred to the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for more than a year beginning in 1979; Rouhani was referring to Iran Air Flight 655, which US missiles took down in 1988. All 290 on the passenger jet perished. (Looking to know more? Axios flags this Washington Post article from 2013 on Flight 655.)
  • For more reading on the subject, at Lawfare John Bellinger takes a dive into why attacking these sites would violate the Hague Cultural Property Convention.
(Read more Iran stories.)

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