Tehran/Washington: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened the United States in frank words of a strong retaliation, saying ‘Those who have threatened Iran referring to the number 52, should also remember the number 290 along with #IR655’. At the same time, President Rouhani warned the United States, not to threaten Iran. While President Rouhani is issuing this threat to the United States, claims have surfaced that Iran is considering 13 different options for the action to avenge the killing of General Soleimani.
Following the drone attack on Soleimani, the US President had tweeted a warning for Iran. President Trump had warned, ‘If Iran attacked the United States to avenge the killing of Soleimani, the United States has a very clear policy. The United States has identified 52 targets in Iran and the United States will launch devastating attacks on these locations.’
In 1979, the extremists had laid siege on the US embassy in Tehran and had held 52 US diplomats and citizens hostage for 444 days. Trump claimed that the number 52 has been selected in the memory of this incident. While mentioning the number 52, the US President also clarified that the United States would not hesitate to use its latest and ultra-modern weapons against Iran.
Aggressive reactions had been received from Iran following this threat by the US President. Rouhani took the opportunity to target the United States while bidding a final farewell to General Soleimani. At this time, he reminded Trump of an attack by a US warship on an Iranian passenger airliner, in 1988. The US warship had fired a missile at the Iran Air flight number IR655 going from Tehran to Dubai.
The United States had clarified that the aircraft was suspected to be a fighter jet and therefore the missile was fired. All the 290 people on board the aircraft had been killed. Subsequently, the United States even paid compensation of millions of dollars. This incident is considered to be one of the important triggering factors for the tension between the United States and Iran.
Some analysts are claiming that Rouhani’s intent was reminding about the ‘Lockerbie Bombing’, which happened within a few months, along with the IR655 incident. In December 1988, a blast was carried out on the flight number PAN AM 103, travelling from Frankfurt in Europe to Detroit in the United States. Libya had accepted the responsibility of the attack.
But as per analysts there was an Iranian hand in this bombing. It was Iran who had ordered Libya to carry out the attack. This was claimed by some of the intelligence officials too. The analysts claimed that it should be remembered that the Rouhani warning has a reference to the Lockerbie bombing, along with the attack on the Iranian airliner.