International Business Times – An Iranian eulogist placed an $80 million bounty for Trump’s head after the killing of major general Qasem Soleiman.
The unidentified eulogist said 80 million Iranians contributing $1 each would mean $80 million will go to the person who will kill Trump. The Iranian government has not confirmed nor commented on reports of the bounty. The reward for Trump’s death was confirmed on Sunday by news editor M. Hanif Jazayeri, according to fact-checking site Snopes. You can check out the video below:
At Solemani’s funeral procession in Mashad one of the organisers called on all Iranian to donate $1 each in order to gather an $80million bounty on President Trumps head. pic.twitter.com/Qb7AAfAiww
— Ali Arouzi (@aliarouzi) January 5, 2020
Well, first off the US Military and more locally, the Secret Service detail around Trump has his security well in hand from any Iranian threat. This is more about emotions being built up by Iranian operatives – government-sanctioned or not – to incite the country to rally around the Iranian flag. The question we ask is, how much support does this Iranian government have?
If you recall, late last year 2019, Iran had the worst protests since its revolution back in 1979. Iran acknowledged for the first time that its security forces shot and killed protesters across the country to put down demonstrations last month over the sharply spiking price of gasoline. A report by Iranian state television sought to portray those killed as “rioters” or foreign-backed insurgents who threatened military posts, oil tanks, and the public. It acknowledged that the violence also killed passers-by, security forces, and peaceful protesters without assigning blame.
Online videos of demonstrations purport to show security forces firing machine guns and rifles at crowds. Amnesty International believes the unrest beginning in mid-November 2019 and crackdown that followed killed at least 208 people. An Iranian judiciary official disputed the toll Tuesday as “sheer lies,” without offering any evidence to support his position.
A poll conducted by the state-run Iran Students Polling Agency (ISPA) shows that the level of people’s satisfaction with the Islamic Republic’s performance is just 15% in the capital city of Iran. The poll was taken in the Province of Tehran also shows 54 percent of the people believe that anti-establishment protests will continue in the future. A political activist and former manager of “Ayandeh” (Future) polling institute, Abbas Abdi, has published parts of ISPA’s first polling results on the recent protests in Iran in his Telegram Channel.
However, dozens of social scientists, as well as many Iranians, do not trust polls conducted in the Islamic Republic. Local news outlets across Iran bombard their audience with reports of highly-twisted surveys, often conducted online with convenience samples, without much discussion, validity or credibility. Still, 15% approval, with even a huge margin for error is quite poor.
One item we would look at is the level of corruption in the country. When governments are perceived as corrupt, support dwindles. In this report, Iran is considered the third-worst corrupt country in the world. Coupled with possibly killing 203 of its own people in a country of 80 million – for sure, the current Iranian regime will have a large percentage of malcontents.
The Guardian – reported back in May of 2019 that Iran was preparing for a proxy war with the US and its allies. Iran’s most prominent military leader has recently met Iraqi militias in Baghdad and told them to “prepare for a proxy war.” Two senior intelligence sources said that Qassem Suleimani, leader of Iran’s powerful Quds force, summoned the militias under Tehran’s influence three weeks ago, amid a heightened state of tension in the region. The move to mobilize Iran’s regional allies is understood to have triggered fears in the US that Washington’s interests in the Middle East are facing a pressing threat. While Suleimani has met regularly with leaders of Iraq’s myriad Shia groups over the past five years, the nature and tone of this gathering were different. “It wasn’t quite a call to arms, but it wasn’t far off,” one source said.
Washington Examiner – Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more,” the Pentagon said. “He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.” The Department of Defense added that the strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force, the extraterritorial wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, “was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”
Qassem Soleimani was at war with the US, and hence Trump had the justification and opportunity to take him out. The decision was well thought through in advance – and when the opportunity presented itself – the decision was quick and decisive.
The Iranian government is doing all it can to whip up ailing support for their oppressive regime. These feeble comments targeting Trump are just part of this effort. The bigger question is, can Trump turn this situation into a win for not only himself but for Iran and the rest of the world – an internally initiated change in regime. The opportunity is there. We shall watch and see.