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tv   NEWS LIVE - 30  Al Jazeera  January 3, 2020 11:00am-11:34am +03

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that the u.s. into this ring age 62. 0. i'm judy mcdonald's and we are continuing our special coverage here on al-jazeera live from doha well across the middle east it's a tense morning after iran's top military commander was killed by a u.s. airstrike custom solomonic died at the airport in the iraqi capital baghdad iran is calling it an assassination he was the leader of the elite could force a division of revolutionary guards which has far reaching influence in iraq syria lebanon and beyond well the pentagon and sort of mani's death in a tweet it said at the direction of the president the u.s. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect u.s. personnel abroad by killing custom seal their money the head of the iranian revolutionary guard corps could sports a u.s. designated foreign terror organization and donald trump after authorizing that
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strike tweeted this simply no words just a large picture of the american fly well it wasn't just sort of money who was killed the u.s. forces of also killed the deputy commander of iranian backed coalition of armed groups in iraq. this from the popular mobilisation forces was killed when the air strike targeted his vehicle on the road to baghdad's airport. well the supreme leader of iran ayatollah seyyed callup many has said those who killed custom sort of and he should await a quote tough revenge in a statement these were his words so all the friends and foes must know that the path of jihad of the resistance will continue with double motivation and a definite victory awaits those who fight in this auspicious demise of our selfless in general is bitter but the continued fight and achievement of the final victory will make life more bitter for the murderers and criminals well iraq's prime
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minister is warning the u.s. strike will quote spark a devastating war in iraq addle abdul mahdi called the attack an assassination and said the killing of iraqi officials all those from the countries on the rocky soil is a massive breach of sovereignty he's called an extraordinary session of parliament in response to the u.s. airstrikes in iraq of drawn mixed reactions from antigovernment protests in baghdad and the killing of qassam $7.00 money and abernathy $100.00 will eliminate the corrupt parties which are destroying iraq. we're on america and iran should solve their problems outside iraq we don't want them to solve it inside iraq because this will not serve us we into risk with do not celebrate the killing of soon the money or anyone else because this will not serve us at the end of the day. of course we have correspondents covering the story from all angles gave elizondo is in washington d.c. dosage of ari said to have on but 1st let's speak to some wonderful to live in
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baghdad so mona just bring us up to date with all of the reaction that we found so far. well the prime minister's office has just issued a statement which is the 1st time we've heard from the government since this drug took place in the early morning hours and he condemned these assess nations in the strongest terms possible calling them a violation of the rules of engagement of u.s. presence here in iraq and a breach of iraqi sovereignty it's interesting that he called. them silly money and the other $112.00 of whom were killed in due strikes quote martyrs who had a contributing greatly in the war against isis love course the popular mobilization forces which are. these leads is one of the groups that was set up to fight isis so that is seen as the main contribution of these 2 figures there is no criticism whatsoever in this statement of of them so the man his role in iraq so
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this very much suggests that the iraqi government is basically taking in the one way or another closer to the side of iran rather than the u.s. there was a very strong criticism of this action basically called the assassination of. an aggression against an iraqi official against iraq itself because of course my hand this is the 2nd in command of the popular mobilization of forces which are at least officially integrated into the state security apparatus and his killing is perhaps a lot more controversial than a custom so the man is killing because he is in dnd an iraqi security official and his assassination of course is being strongly criticised here in des statement the other thing that the prime minister said in his statement is that he would be calling for an emergency parliamentary session in order to legislate lost to quote
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preserve the dignity and sovereignty of iraq unquote but he did not really give him . more guidance on what those laws should really do or say in india and it is the government not the parliament that is supposed to be setting the agenda that is supposed to be drafting legislation which then is voted on by parliament so on the one hand we have a strong condemnation here from them or a prime minister but then on the other hand it appears that he's basically putting the ball in parliaments court and this is of course a parliament that is currently dominated by iranian backed groups these are the political wings essentially of the popular mobilization of forces and whatever session is held whether it is today or tomorrow will likely result in calls for very swift swift actions most likely to see a formal initiation of a process to formally remove u.s. forces from iraq and i wonder simona i was going to ask you who and how will it be
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decided what iraq's response is but to your point with the current iranian influence of some politicians in parliament while might that decision process look like. well any decision made by the authorities would have to be initiated by the government and prime minister i love the math he has not been very clear on the direction that he wants parliament to take he basically just called them them to convene and he called on them to legislate laws of what exactly these laws should do whether day should actually request that the foreign troops that is unclear we've had several efforts over the past months and years in fact to see such a process initiated but it never really took place because india and the government was never willing to put forward such a bill even though parliament was asking for it and of course since the recent most recent escalation 1st with the u.s. strikes against hezbollah brigade positions and then the attack on the u.s.
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embassy here in baghdad we've seen that greater calls for the departure of u.s. troops from iraq a bead for militarily means military means we've had the leaders of the popular mobilization forces basically declare war on the u.s. troops in iraq or also politically and go through the avenues of the parliament for anything to happen we would really need to see a bill come from the prime minister's office basically setting out the next steps of what needs to be what needs to be done similar fulton joining us there with the latest from baghdad some more thank you. well it's close enough to do as jabari who joins us from tehran doris i was very much struck when we spoke earlier by you talking about the reaction of your taxi driver on the way to work this morning talking about just how shocked and upset he was about what's happened and i just want to expand on that further for you know for radians waking up to this news today just what's happened feel like a personal attack on
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a country that's already become frankly quite isolated. certainly it has been very very difficult here this past year for not only the officials in iran but also the ordinary citizens of this country they have seen sentients after sanctions waged upon them hitting different sectors of the country and they really feel like this trumpet ministration is really coming at them with full force trying to we put pressure on iran because of their nuclear program and this is something that they feel is not hasn't been fair now this act that was carried out by the u.s. military in baghdad is being seen as the most severe reaction that the u.s. has had on iran by taking out some silly money it is being seen as a very personal. attack on iranians it is he's a very he was
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a very important figure it was a matter of national pride for ronnie and this fight where they came from their background their status in iranian society whether or not they supported this government was one thing everybody agreed on in iran was that the us until the money was a fierce commander a positive member of iran's revolutionary guard he defended iran and its interests he was very very skilled on the battlefield there are tales of his heroism during the iran iraq. war between 18988 there is one very famous story about how he was injured during the war and he was taken to the hospital and upon receiving treatment he didn't even wait to recover he was back on the battlefield these are tales that circulate about this figure who is very very reserved out of the limelight many people say they've never seen him in person so
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this is the background to what people were waking up to the news that this man that they've known a protector of iran on the middle east stage that has been killed in such a way not on the battlefield in syria not in the battlefield in northern iraq fighting eisel but on his way from the airport in baghdad with an airstrike not being in uniform this is what iranians are seeing as an act of war and this is the reason. many here say that he was one of the most. proud iranians that they've ever known very nationalistic he would have done anything for his country and that is what elevated him to the status that he had was that when he was killed a very close confidant to the supreme leader the supreme leader has granted him the highest military accolade in the islamic republic's history just last year with
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a medal of honor so he had very very influential friends as well any high ranking official that visited iran from the lookout all souther to have on a stroll a they all a visit it's awesome so the money as a token of respect for his status not only within the country's military ranks on the police force in the revolutionary guard but his relationship with the supreme leader ayatollah ali khamenei so iranians are very much taking this personally and you have to remember emotions run very high in iran on a regular basis this specific case is unlike any other because some saw the money as a man whose face is on t.v. shirts on. and janice you see his picture being held up. in various rallies and gatherings with the supreme leader with the president he is one of those iconic figures in iran that we have not really had since the beginning of the islamic revolution aside from the supreme leaders that we've had from khomeini to
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the current one ayatollah khamenei so this is very indeed yes very personal the people are very emotional any time there was any threat made on iran people had the line saying hadzic all symbol defend us that is his nickname he was known as a protector really without any doubt he was 100 percent committed to preserving the islamic republic and its borders protecting its borders many believe he's the reason why i still hasn't been able to set foot on a rainy and soil so his death and the way in which he was killed the manner that he was killed is being seen as the ultimate insult to all iranians d'orsel let's talk next day and look at some of the language that we've heard from iran this morning revenge has been a key words so who and how is it decided what the next steps are. well
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already we are hearing that there will be an emergency meeting of the supreme national security council that is a body that the olds with iran's foreign policy that is headed by president hassan rouhani with the head of the country's judiciary ebrahim raissi as well as the speaker our immense alie larijani as these people are being will be meeting in the capitol to decide how to respond to this all this will be under the guidance of the supreme leader of course so we're waiting to find out when that session will begin we're also hearing that the foreign minister jobs are reef has been meeting with various officials of the foreign ministry and they've also summoned the shards of the affair from the swiss embassy in tehran the swiss embassy here deals with their relationship between iran and the united states since the 2 countries don't have diplomatic relations who also been hearing from various high ranking military officials both the minister of defense the former head of the revolutionary guards as well as the former head of the besieged forces saying that they are ready to
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avenge his death so i think the next 24 hours will be very critical all of the high ranking officials in iran are now gathering or about together to decide what to do next but what is certain is that there will be a response so such a bar there with the very latest from tehran is also thank you. so much money staff has raised concerns over retaliation by the revolutionary guard president donald trump has not made any further comments about the airstrikes so far but although u.s. politicians have responded well for more on that let's cross over to gave out a cylinder he's been standing by for us in washington d.c. gabe i know you've been following this story through the wee small hours since it happened what's the reaction been and has it starts to fall in sort of pastas on lines. it has quite frankly we've heard from i would say a handful of key lawmakers not an overwhelming number of lawmakers have issued
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statements but a few key ones have they kind of give you an idea of where this is going i should say that it's a little after 3 15 in the morning here in washington so we do not expect to hear of course from donald trump at this early hour as well as the pentagon we do not expect to hear any more details of this strike that killed sulaimani either until later friday morning or midday friday perhaps now given what your question was there we have begin to hear some reaction and it is splitting a little bit on partisan lines let me 1st talk about lindsey graham. a republican senator who's a very close ally of president donald trump lindsey graham tweeted in part and i read it this action by president trump in our military was in direct response to iranian aggression orchestrated by general sort of money and his proxies if iran continues to attack america and our allies they should pay the heaviest of prices
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which includes the destruction of their oil refineries so you saw that in that kind of is a snapshot of what a few other republican senators were saying as well for example marco rubio from florida as well as others sort of can graduating trump and saying that this was the right step by the right decision he made to authorize this strike however we're hearing from another side too and these are from some democrats this is former vice president joe biden who's the top candidate for the democratic nomination running for president to run against donald trump in the 2020 elections later this year biden's statement was very strong i want you to listen closely this is part of what it said president trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox. and he owes the american people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep america safe our troops and embassy personnel safe our people and our
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interests both here and at home and abroad in iran will surely respond we could be on the brink of a major conflict across the middle east so that's some of the reaction that we're getting here from washington i should also mention that house speaker nancy pelosi probably the 3rd most powerful politician in all of washington behind the president and the vice president she issued a very long and strong statement as well saying that this action by the u.s. military could put americans in the region in jeopardy and saying that she wants an immediate response from the trump administration on why congress was not informed in advance or why congressional leaders were not at least and also wants a response from the white house on what their plan is moving forward based on whatever iran's reaction to this will be and gave talking about plans and strategy can we take anything from current troop movements obviously we did say assuring up
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of some types of troops coming to the region after the attack on the embassy but what its implications to troop movements perhaps have. well i think there's 2 answers to that and when it comes to american troop movements there's what's announced and there wasn't and there's what is not announced and that is fairly secretive so the u.s. has already said the pentagon has confirmed they're sending 750 roughly paratroopers to the middle east region and this was announced actually. i remember correctly early on thursday and this was in response to the embassy issues there with the protesters that was going on there 82nd airborne confirmed late on thursday that more paratroopers were sent and they have arrived at an american military base in neighboring kuwait that is all the confirmed information that
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we're getting from the pentagon at this juncture but i can tell you that there is a possibility perhaps even a likelihood that there is other movements of troops either troops already stationed in the region or near iraq or next to iraq or perhaps perhaps even troops from the united states that have quietly already deployed to the region we just simply do not know yet we'll hope to get more on that from the pentagon later here on friday gave elizondo they are continuing to bring us the very latest from washington d.c. gave thank you if you just started watching us here on al-jazeera let's bring you up to speed on our breaking story iran's top military commander kasim sort of money has been killed in a u.s. air strike in iraq's capital baghdad the pentagon said presidential order the attack to protect u.s. personnel abroad amid escalating tensions between the 2 countries iran's leaders
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say condemning the attack which they are calling an assassination and are warning of quote severe revenge against the u.s. iraq's prime minister says the u.s. strike will spark a devastating war. well a quick recap of our rolling coverage and what can be seen as a major escalation here in the middle east the united states has killed iran's well senior military commander custom sort of mani was assassinated an airstrike in the iraqi capital baghdad well let's take a look back at the life of the man loved by iranians and the general who the u.s. and israel called an enemy for here's major general custom solomon he was a senior commander of iran's islamic revolutionary guard corps and the hit of its elite could force he graduated to the role 20 years ago was regarded as the mastermind of iran's military strategy in the region he really spoken public but gave this interview in october saying iran's i.o.c. e.g. had expanded islamic resistance to half
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a 1000000 square kilometers connecting iran through iraq and syria to lebanon on. the could force runs a runs foreign military inclined to stein operations the us attributed it to campaigns in iraq lebanon syria germany kenya bahrain in turkey soleimani delegated iranian diplomats to meet with u.s. officials after the september 11th attacks and they briefly worked together against the taliban but the relationship soon deteriorated during the iraq war the us sit around through the could schools and shia militias killed more than $600.00 american service members 17 percent of all u.s. deaths in the war the us and iran's priorities aligned once more in the fight against eisel but didn't devolve past the battlefield in april last year the us does ignited the islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization with this designation we are sending a clear signal
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a clear message to iran's leaders including his band of thugs that the united states is bringing all pressure to bear to stop the regimes outlaw behavior. we asked our allies and partners around the world do the same but salomone had the full support of iran's government he received iran's highest military award last year as tensions heightens between the u.s. and iran so the money continue to support shia militias including the hizbollah brigades who were targeted in 5 u.s. is strikes last week after they fired rockets at a us base he survived many attacks on his life inside iran and uproot but it would be in iraq where shia militias trained by his could force killed hundreds of americans that the u.s. indeed his writing age 62 charlotte bellus. meaghan bashar is on today with senior political analysts and he joins us here in the studio now good to have you with me marwan thank you and let's go back to some of the basics for some of our audience
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who might just be joining us how did this attack happened to a man so protected and why potentially now. of course there are a number of scenarios one scenario is that the united states has it's tried before but failed to do so because he is very well protected and so on so forth the 2nd possibility or scenario is that they were actually going after him hundreds the head of the iraq hezbollah who happened to be with him and then maybe they got to him through his proxy in iraq i wonder this that's also a possibility a 3rd of course is that this all happens after a week of the stabbers is an iraq that so americans attack iranian all eyes in iraq and iraqi allies of iran attacking american forces are not lies and hence that is an opportunity then to see where. the shadow command that is because as we all 'd know from the last 20 years or so. whenever there were something clandestine
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happening whenever there's covert operation happening whenever there were something by proxy happening in lebanon syria iraq afghanistan that command. over the shadow command would probably be there and hence i think this was an opportunity for the americans who have long considered him the head of a terrorist organizations according to the americans are also whilst also being an opportunity there is a colossal risk is it not i mean i thought it was interesting that in some of the reaction that we had from washington there were words like well we hope he's got a plan we hope he's got a strategy and we hope to hear an explanation to the american public but this doesn't just affect the american public i mean probably the what happens next is really going to affect people in this region absolutely of course the reaction in america that we just heard from our correspondent in washington does have to do with as much politics as does with strategy and the fact that it's the chief
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democrats' candidate joe biden a former senator is also over that would weigh in of course it's now this is entered the political what it kicking sphere in the united states with why is this or is this not coinciding with impeachment because we all know all all of us of students of history know that. president clinton when he was on the impeachment he carried such operations against sudan and it walk. so the idea of shifting attention and idea of showing up again as a commander in chief and bringing the nation around is all important and we saw in his tweet earlier the simple picture of the american flag and when i saw that it made me think is this just straight out of the populist you know man who wants to be reelected he wants to take the attention away from the impeachment process make america great again america is strong does it come out of that playbook absolutely and and you know you know of course we are all part of this and the logical we're
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trying to get into the bottom of things to the inside story as it were of things and for many years we've been saying well it is flynn then national security adviser that was that was toying with trump's had and then we on the side well it's actually jump bolton that was playing with toying with no or saying it's pompei or the radical extremist who is toying with trump said well you know what maybe trump is toying with everyone's head as well because trump is that kind of leader i mean people would like to quote him maybe of reckless people who would like to call him a b. . day should this be because that's how he lived his political career taking risks and saying that whenever he takes on the next risky actually big becomes even more popular so it's a very good possibility that trump has got at this at that but the other question i think to the to the to the thinking well of everyone that's watching us around the world now is what does this mean as you were saying what this is meant to the
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people of the region here i think if history teaches us anything and history is important in this sense is that the u.s. and iran have been at this rhetorical war despite previous emotional sentimental nationalistic. blub blub blub for 40 years. but was that ever a real war between the 2 for 40 years never there was never a war there were confrontations there were american attacks like in 1930 or hezbollah allied with the united states with with the with that with iran against american forces in lebanon on the marines there were some skirmishes certainly in 1907 there was and a major one but for 40 years despite all the assassinations all the attacks including the downing of planes and whatever civilian planes we still yet to witness a major war so so i wonder on that basis 2 things come to mind there one is has the
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u.s. administration paid attention to history at all i mean we've seen some of these policies in a pattern haven't we over this last 40 years an isolationist policy and then we extend the olive branch and we've seen this pattern time and again we gave we take away and we know certainly that the isolationist policy generally speaking doesn't work so can you reflect on that but also does this what we've seen happen to the need to lead to an all out escalation but that's i think look i mean when you are a super the world's superpower when you are the middle east empire you know de facto. then when you are that when you behave aggressively like you did in the water against afghanistan in the wars against iraq things get really bad so american military involvement intervention activist foreign policy did not do well i thought in the streets. but certainly isolation doesn't doesn't work either because and then you're there between isolation and to be in this in a war mongering that has to be some middle ground where by there's
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a strategy there is diplomacy and that the alternative to war mongering is not isolationism it's diplomacy yes supported by forces supported by some gunboat or sort whatever but certainly there has to be somewhere something in the middle between i see a solution as i'm on war mongering and the united states has not been embracing that kind of middle ground so it's been quite been a course in the way it's been subject think iran societies and i want to get to this point it's very important by the way. because we can't talk in isolation iran is suffering under american sanctions i mean make no mistake about it yes it tried to look right a confident and it did speak confidently the last few months as it's running war games with china and russia and foreign minister zarif is jumping between moscow and beijing and you know with all confidence some bombast and whatever but iran is suffering there one economy is is on its knees and iranians while
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a lot of them do consider some sort of managed to be a popular loyal important leader in the country a symbol of heroism from the iraq iran war into other wars and so on so forth i was certainly the most closer to the regime think of them as the sword over ali how many and here is and why our lot of people think of him as this quiet respectable man a shorter guy who carries a big stick. but they have a lot of thoughts also elsewhere in their own livelihood and their own food on the table their children going to school and so on so forth that brings me to thought about the iranian regional policy more generally i mean we've seen protesters in iraq say we want to flatten the political system and we do not want it to have this iranian influence we've heard similarly about protests in lebanon saying you know we don't want hezbollah to have this relationship and and have the script and then
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of course we saw those protests within iran itself and the upshot of those protests was we want our government to govern here and to stop pushing influence around the region as its priority so has its kind of interregional foreign policy flopped. well you know it's also as you were saying earlier this speaks to the popular sentiment both in iran and the united states some especially among the elites closer to the regime wants iran to be involved more in the region and once iran to resurrect its regional you know historic greatness as you know the most important power in the region and so on so forth and they do think of everything in nationalism and she is i'm one of the various instruments of foreign policy soft power and have power to be important in to securing iranian interest in the nation that they think eventually will also bring economic and other benefits to to the country having a country like iraq subjected to bring in which is not a is not a little thing especially iraq being one of the 2nd largest oil reserves in the
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world. so there is that carrot and there is the other one that says look enough of that or are they we've been doing that for 40 years and what is that is all you know we're doing certainly worse than turkey we're doing worse than so many other we're definitely doing worse than israel our you know sworn enemy now that one is becoming one of the richest 20th countries of the world and we are still lagging behind where is our economy what is our industry what is our high tech etc etc it's not that i saw that there is a major current within the country that says look let's reform let's bring our interests in words let's build on what economy and so on so forth let's stop making enemies out of the united states you know who was a saudi arabian is there and so on so forth but well what's happened not just very quickly if i can make that transition that for reformation if you like all the more difficult saluted and that's why i wanted to say something before when i was talking about 40 years of no major war we don't know what's going to happen now i'm saying as a student of history there hasn't been anything will this now be
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a catalyst will this be a trigger for a bigger confrontation between the iran the onsets the threats from the highest ranking senator on foreign affairs saying 'd if you do anything we want at that field refineries for example that is. is you know a quiet and open threat and i think iran would probably be thinking twice and 3 times if it was going to do anything because the americans while they don't have popular support in iraq for their presence they have the most sophisticated military in the world and are capable of hurting iran iran is capable of hurting the united states in various ways in the region attacking embassies and what have you but the united states has the capacity to retaliate and to hurt iran so if you wouldn't have won today and if you're washington you are going through the list of scenarios what could be and what is my best options just as it or around assassinations as we did before is it called for operations is it low intensity warfare.

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