Iran abandons nuclear deal limits after death of Iranian general

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Iranian officials said the country will no longer abide by the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal after a US airstrike killed Qasem Soleimani, the Associated Press reports.

In a state television broadcast on Sunday, Iranian officials said that Iran remains open to negotiating with European partners, who have so far not been able to offer Tehran a way to sell its crude oil around the world despite sanctions by the US.

It also did not back off of earlier promises that Iran would not seek a nuclear weapon.

The body of Soleimani, a top general and one of the most powerful men in Iran, arrived in his home country on Sunday and was met by thousands of mourners who flooded the streets to honor him.

Mourners gathered in Iran’s western town of Ahvaz, where the bodies of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia leader also killed in the drone strikes, arrived earlier Sunday.

A funeral service for Soleimani was expected to take place later on Sunday in Mashhad, at the holy site of Imam Reza Shrine. But a scheduled ceremony slated to take place at Tehran’s Grand Mosalla on Sunday night has been canceled due to the delayed procession caused by the large turnout of mourners in Mashhad, according to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iran will observe three days of national mourning, paying respects to Soleimani, who was seen as a national hero and has been called a martyr by the Iranian leadership.

President Trump and US military officials have said they killed Soleimani because he was planning an “imminent” threat on Americans. But the lack of evidence provided to lawmakers or the public on that point has fueled lingering skepticism about whether the strike was justified.

On Twitter on Saturday night, Trump said that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the US has targeted 52 Iranian sites — a reference to the number of Americans taken hostage in the 1979 revolution — “some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” he wrote.

“They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!” Trump wrote.

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