‘Never threaten the Iranian nation’: Rouhani tells Trump

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday nobody should threaten his nation, responding to a tweet from US President Donald Trump in which he threatened to strike 52 sites in Iran.

“Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655,” Rouhani tweeted, referring to the 1988 shooting down of an Iranian airline by a US warship in which 290 were killed. “Never threaten the Iranian nation.”

Rouhani attended the state funeral on Monday for slain military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq last week in a US drone strike in Baghdad ordered by Trump.

The killing has dramatically heightened tensions as senior Iranian figures vow to strike US military targets in response.

Adding to the tensions, Iran announced on Sunday it will no longer abide by the limits contained in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian state television cited a statement by Rouhani’s administration saying the country would not observe the nuclear deal’s restrictions on fuel enrichment, on the size of its enriched uranium stockpile and on its research and development activities.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran no longer faces any limitations in operations,” a state TV broadcaster said.

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday it will inform its member states as appropriate on any developments in Iran after Tehran’s latest announcement on walking away reversibly from its deal with major powers.

“IAEA inspectors continue to carry out verification and monitoring activities in the country,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

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