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Trump says U.S. will target 52 Iranian sites should Tehran retaliate

Click to play video 'Trump says top Iranian general was plotting attacks' Trump says top Iranian general was plotting attacks
Trump says top Iranian general was plotting attacks – Jan 3, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump is heightening his rhetoric on Iran, vowing retaliation should the country attack U.S. citizens.

“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago),” he said on Twitter Saturday.

He described some of those targets as “very high level” and important to Iran and its culture.

Click to play video 'CCTV video purports to show U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani' CCTV video purports to show U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani
CCTV video purports to show U.S. airstrike that killed Soleimani – Jan 4, 2020

“Those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

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His comments come after Iran vowed “harsh” retaliation for the death of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general considered one of the country’s most powerful figures.

He was killed in a U.S. drone strike ordered by Trump that occurred near Baghdad’s airport on Friday.

READ MORE: White House gives U.S. lawmakers formal notice of airstrike that killed Soleimani: aides

The attack, which was not authorized by Congress, has sparked widespread concern that the conflict between the U.S. and Iran could deepen or even escalate into an all-out war.

Trump and his allies have said that Soleimani is responsible for scores of U.S. deaths and was actively planning to take the lives of more U.S. citizens before he was killed.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” he said. “We did not take action to start a war.”

Click to play video 'Tensions escalating dramatically between the U.S. and Iran' Tensions escalating dramatically between the U.S. and Iran
Tensions escalating dramatically between the U.S. and Iran – Jan 4, 2020

The president’s tweet was in reference to the Iranian hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran that started in 1979 and lasted for 444 days.

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This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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