World

Iran MP offers $4m reward for killing Trump, US calls it ‘ridiculous’

DUBAI: An Iranian lawmaker offered a US$3 million (S$4 million) reward to anyone who killed US President Donald Trump and said Iran could avoid threats if it had nuclear arms, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday amid Teheran's latest stand-off with Washington.

US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward as "ridiculous", telling reporters in Geneva it showed the "terrorist underpinnings" of Iran's establishment.

Tensions have escalated since Mr Trump in 2018 pulled the US out of a multilateral 2015 agreement meant to contain Iran's nuclear programme, saying it was flawed, then reimposed heavy US sanctions on Teheran. The stand-off erupted into tit-for-tat military strikes earlier this month.

"On behalf of the people of Kerman province, we will pay a $3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump," lawmaker Ahmad Hamzeh told the 290-seat Parliament, ISNA reported.

He did not say if the reward had any official backing from Iran's clerical rulers.

The city of Kerman, in the province south of the capital, is the hometown of Major-General Qassem Soleimani, a prominent Iranian general whose killing in a drone strike ordered by Mr Trump on Jan 3 in Baghdad prompted Iran to fire missiles at US targets in Iraq.

"If we had nuclear weapons today, we would be protected from threats... We should put the production of long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads on our agenda. This is our natural right," Mr Hamzeh was quoted as saying by ISNA.

The US and its Western allies have long accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. Teheran insists it has never sought nuclear arms and never will, saying its nuclear work is for research and to master the process to generate electricity.

The 2015 nuclear accord was designed to increase the time Iran would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb. Parties to the deal believed, at the time, Iran could produce enough material in two to three months if it wanted. Under the deal, Iran received relief from sanctions in return for curbing its nuclear activities. - REUTERS

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