A member of the Iranian Parliament isn’t waiting for the results of Donald Trump’s Republican-rigged impeachment trial to see whether the American president is held accountable for at least some of the many crimes of which he has been accused.
Ahmad Hamzeh — who represents the people of Kerman, the hometown and burial place of the assassinated leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassim Suleimani — announced that anyone who exacts an act of equivalent revenge on the man who ordered Suleimani’s killing, namely Donald J. Trump, would receive a reward of $3 million.
“We will give $3 million to anyone who kills Trump,” Hamzeh was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency, ISNA.
The Iranian lawmaker’s offer marks a significant discount from the bounty previously proffered during the televised broadcast of the state funeral for General Suleimani when an unidentified announcer on Iranian state TV proposed raising a reward of $80 million — a dollar for each inhabitant of Iran — for the same purpose, a reduction of over 96%.
“Iran has 80 million inhabitants,” the televised statement said. “Based on the Iranian population, we want to raise $80 million, which is a reward for those who get close to the head of President Trump.”
With the Iranian population not nearly as unified as it was in the immediate aftermath of the American assassination of their nation’s military leader — due primarily to the fallout from the Islamic government’s handling of the mistaken missile strike against a Ukranian passenger airliner and the country’s continuing economic woes — apparently not every citizen felt inspired to contribute to help reach that lofty goal.
Then again, perhaps now that Trump’s impeachment trial has begun, the value placed on his head has gone down so drastically simply because he’s now seen as damaged goods, in a weakened position that will prevent him from committing another act likely considered a war crime by international authorities.
The consideration of the president’s ordering of Suleimani’s killing as a serious violation of international law comes as the Trump administration struggles to provide evidence that any planned attack on American interests by the Iranians was actually “imminent” as the law requires to justify such an assassination. Trump has claimed — without offering a shred of proof — that four U.S. embassies were under immediate danger, yet even Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has admitted that he saw no evidence of that threat.
While Trump’s unilateral decision to execute the foreign general without the consultation and authorization of Congress as required by the Constitution is not a factor in his current impeachment trial, it could form the basis of another future impeachment count.
The most concerning issue for the president, however, is the fact that his rash decision has alienated even some of his staunchest GOP supporters now sitting in judgment in his trial and could lead to defections in his until-now-unbroken defensive wall of the slim Republican majority in the Senate — a body that only needs four GOP moderates to vote to undermine Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plans to railroad a dismissal of the charges against Trump without even hearing from crucial witnesses.
While it’s unlikely that Mr. Hamzeh will ever get to deliver his $3 million reward to anyone, it must rankle our narcissistic president to see how far the value of his life has fallen in even the eyes of one of our nation’s most persistent Middle East rivals.
Like an old copy of “The Art of the Deal,” Iran has sent Donald Trump’s life to the remainder bin due to lack of interest, discounted for quick disposal. Perhaps, they realized what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said of Trump’s impeachment before his behavior reached unignorable proportions: “he’s just not worth it.”
Original reporting by Agence France-Presse at RawStory.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.