Iranian Official Threatens Trump's Real Estate
Escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran may have made President Donald Trump's properties a target for terrorist attacks.
Hesameddin Ashena, a senior adviser to Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, posted a tweet on Sunday with a link to a Forbes article listing all of The Trump Organization's significant properties, along with a quote from the late Ayatollah Khomeini threatening revenge against any enemies of Islam, The New York Post reports.
On Jan. 2, Trump ordered the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani via drone strike at Iraq's Baghdad International Airport. Suleimani was considered by the international intelligence community to be Iran's top military figure (and perhaps in the entire Middle East), and his death has been met with an outpouring of grief. Mourners have included hundreds of thousands of Iranians, along with promises of reprisals from both the Iranian government and Lebanon-based political party and militia Hezbollah, The New York Times reports.
Hezbollah is among a wide array of Shiite groups that Suleimani reportedly marshaled to maintain and increase control of the Middle East by Iran, where Shia is the majority sect of Islam and the one practiced by the state's religious leaders.
If Iran or its allies seek to inflict maximum emotional damage in a response to Suleimani's assassination, Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan could be more effective a target than even the White House, The Daily Beast reports, citing an anonymous senior member of the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump recently changed the official residence on his tax return from Trump Tower to his Mar-a-Lago golf club in South Florida, but the New York office/condominium tower has strategic significance beyond its monetary or sentimental value to Trump. The building is the center of Trump's re-election campaign, and the Republican National Committee reportedly spends $37K a month to lease space there.
The entanglement of private business concerns with national and foreign policy has been a chief concern of experts who criticized Trump for refusing to divest from his business and property holdings when he took office in January 2017.
Also killed in the U.S. missile strike was Iraqi military leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who many considered Suleimani's top ally in Iraq. International experts believe the duo was instrumental in beating back the influence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Times reports.