Reality check: Did Iran put an $80M bounty on Trump’s head? No.

Click to play video: 'White House justifies airstrike on Soleimani as Trump responds to Iran'
White House justifies airstrike on Soleimani as Trump responds to Iran
WATCH: White House justifies airstrike on Soleimani as Trump responds to Iran – Jan 6, 2020

The Iranian government has vowed revenge against the U.S. for the death of military general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an airstrike in Baghdad last week.

However, over the weekend, unsubstantiated claims that Iran has placed a bounty on U.S. President Donald Trump‘s head emerged.

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With tensions rising, Trump vows swift action if Iran retaliates
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On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of mourners accompanied the coffin carrying Soleimani’s remains in the Iranian cities of Ahvaz and Mashhad.

Wait, There’s More: The aftermath of the killing of Qassem Soleimani

According to reporting from Newsweek and the Daily Mail, at one point during the procession, an unidentified eulogist called for a bounty to be placed on Trump‘s head.

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Elizabeth Warren says Trump administration moving U.S. “to the edge of war”
“We are 80 million Iranians,” the man is quoted as saying. “If each one of us puts aside one American dollar, we will have 80 million American dollars, and we will reward anyone who brings us [Trump]’s head with that amount.”
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Early reports suggested erroneously that the proposed bounty was backed by the Iranian government. Two major tabloid newspapers in the U.K. ran headlines mentioning the bounty.

“Iran offers $80million bounty for Donald Trump’s head after death of general,” Britain’s The Daily Mirror’s headline read.

“Iran ‘puts $80,000,000 bounty on Donald Trump’s head’ after general’s killing,” The U.K’s Metro newspaper’s headline said.

It is unclear who the eulogist is or if he is in any way connected with the regime.

There has been no indication the regime has endorsed the unidentified man’s proposed bounty for Trump.

Has Iran really placed a bounty on Trump’s head? No. Here’s a look at what is actually happening:

What has Iran said?

While Iran’s leaders have vowed revenge, few details have emerged to suggest when or where any retaliation could take place.

After the airstrike, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed “harsh retaliation.”

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Soleimani’s killing a “heinous crime,” saying Iran would “take revenge” for his death “not only today but also in the coming years.”

The country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, called the airstrike in Baghdad a “cowardly terrorist action,” saying Iran has the right to respond by “any method” at “any time.”

Click to play video: 'Iran calls Trump ‘terrorist in a suit’ as Soleimani returns home'
Iran calls Trump ‘terrorist in a suit’ as Soleimani returns home

On Sunday, Brig.-Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who has replaced Soleimani as leader of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, told Iranian state television that “actions will be taken.”

“God the almighty has promised to get his revenge,” he said. “And God is the main avenger.”

How has Iran retaliated?

In an interview with CNN, Gen. Hossein Dehghan, military adviser to Khamenei, said the response to Soleimani’s killing will “for sure be military.”

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Dehghan said the country would retaliate directly against U.S. military sites and that the attack would come from Iran and not one of its allied militia.

“It might be argued that there could be proxy operations. We can say America, Mr. Trump, has taken action directly against us — so we take direct action against America.”

Earlier on Sunday, Iranian state TV, citing Rouhani’s administration, said the country would no longer observe limitations on its nuclear enrichment previously agreed upon under the 2015 nuclear deal.

In Lebanon, the leader of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah said Soleimani’s killing made U.S. military bases, warships and service members across the region fair game for attacks.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, lawmakers passed a non-binding motion that would see the removal of all foreign troops from the region. Currently, more than 5,000 American troops are on the ground in the region.

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What has Trump said?

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump said Iran was “talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets.”

Trump said the U.S. has targeted 52 Iranian sites, some of which are “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.”

Click to play video: 'Trump says top Iranian general was plotting attacks'
Trump says top Iranian general was plotting attacks

Trump said the 52 targets represented 52 Americans held hostage in Iran in 1979 after they were seized at the U.S. Embassy during the Islamic Revolution.

He continued, saying that if Iran launches an attack, the U.S. “will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!”

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On Sunday, Trump boasted about the capability of the U.S. military.

“We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World!” he wrote. “If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way…. and without hesitation!”

— With files from the Associated Press and Reuters

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