He asked for it.
The Iranian general who was torn to shreds by an American airstrike once taunted the president, calling him a “gambler” with the style of a “bartender or casino manager.”
“Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean the loss of all your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end,” Qassem Soleimani said in a fiery July 2018 speech directed at Trump.
Eighteen months later, his death wish was granted when he was killed Friday in a missile attack near the Baghdad Airport, in the most significant military move in the Middle East of Trump’s tenure, one the President said was intended to stop Soleimani’s plots to kill more Americans.
In the 2018 speech, Soleimani was responding to a Twitter post by Trump, warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani against threatening the US.
“Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!” Trump tweeted.
The typically soft-spoken Soleimani was so angered by Trump’s declaration, he raised his voice to a bellow during the address at a military base in Hamdan, video of the speech published by the Daily Mail shows.
“Mr. Trump, the gambler! You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region,” Soleimani yelled, pointing toward the camera. “It has been over a year since Trump became US president, but that man’s rhetoric is still that of a casino, of a bar.”
The clip surfaced early Saturday, as Iran mourned the loss of the powerful general and officials vowed “harsh revenge” for the attack.
“It was an act of war on the part of the United States against the Iranian people, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a CNN interview Friday.
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