A spokesman for the Iranian government said the country's top security body would hold an extraordinary meeting shortly to discuss the "criminal act of attack". Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that "retaliation is waiting". On 4 January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said there was "no specific, credible" threat to the U.S. mainland but warned about Iranian capabilities. Trump warned Tehran that any retaliation would result in the U.S. targeting 52 Iranian significant sites, including cultural sites. The 52 sites were reported to represent the 52 American hostages held during the Iran hostage crisis. Hossein Dehghan, the main military adviser of Iran, and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif asserted that attacks on Iranian cultural sites would be grave breaches of international law. U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo avoided a direct answer when asked about cultural targets, saying that Washington will do the things that are right and the things that are consistent with U.S. law. U.S. secretary of defense Mark Esper later asserted that cultural sites would not be targeted because "That's the laws of armed conflict."
The modern Middle East has seen a number of occasions in which the assassination of high-level government and military figures was attempted, or at least considered. Such instances include United States air raids targeting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 1986 and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 1991, 1998, and 2003, in addition to successful missions to kill non-state terrorist leaders such as Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Governments conducting assassinations of foreign leaders was largely frowned upon in prior centuries, but that norm has been weakening over time, especially since World War II. The effectiveness of anti-terrorist "leadership targeting" has become a subject of scholarly debate, especially with regard to whether such killings are actually beneficial to a country's foreign policy goals. In the wake of the strike against Soleimani, both the topic of further eroding norms and questions regarding effectiveness were raised. The costs and benefits of foreign policy assassinations are difficult to compute, and decisions to go ahead with such actions often reflect the vague, and not always realized, hope that any successor to the targeted person will be less capable against, or will embody policies more favorable toward, the country taking the action.More Info
Ever since the Iran–Iraq War (1980–88), in which Iran felt attacked not only by Saddam Hussein's Iraq but by the international community siding with Saddam against Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic republic in Tehran, with notably the U.S. supplying weapons and intelligence to Iraq, Soleimani had developed into the architect of all of Iran's foreign policies in the Middle East, and a key figure in all of Iran's foreign and defence policies. He provided crucial support to President Bashar al-Assad's regime during the Syrian Civil War. He even wrote U.S. General David Petraeus, then Commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, a letter in early 2008 to tell him: "General Petraeus, you must know that I, Qasem Soleimani, am in charge of the Iranian policies concerning Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan".More Info
On 3 January 2020, a United States drone strike near Baghdad International Airport targeted and killed Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) while he was reportedly planned to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad. Soleimani was commander of the Quds Force—which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain—and was considered the second most powerful person of Iran, subordinate to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Nine others were killed alongside Soleimani, including four Iranian and five Iraqi nationals such as deputy chairman of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and commander of the Iran-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis—a designated terrorist in the U.S. and in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).More Info
Concerning the provisional nuclear deal with Iran, some critics of the treaty argued that Iran could make a nuclear bomb after expiry of the limited-term nuclear deal. U.S. President Donald Trump also criticized the 15-year nuclear deal with Iran, particularly the Obama administration's cash payout of $1.7 billion to Iran. Tensions rose between Iran and the U.S. in 2018 after Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions against Iran—which severely affected Iran's economy—as a part of his administration's strategy of applying "maximum pressure" against Iran for the purpose of establishing a new nuclear deal.More Info
Average pricing information divides in three pricing categories: those buying small quantities (modules of all sizes in the kilowatt range annually), mid-range buyers (typically up to 10 MWp annually), and large quantity buyers (self-explanatory—and with access to the lowest prices). Over the long term there is clearly a systematic reduction in the price of cells and modules. For example, in 2012 it was estimated that the quantity cost per watt was about US$0.60, which was 250 times lower than the cost in 1970 of US$150. A 2015 study shows price/kWh dropping by 10% per year since 1980, and predicts that solar could contribute 20% of total electricity consumption by 2030, whereas the International Energy Agency predicts 16% by 2050.More Info
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