The Iranian government has ordered the United States to pay some $130 billion in reparations to citizens it says have been harmed by the Trump administration's tough sanctions policy on Tehran, according to a Tuesday announcement by Iran's judiciary.
Iran's demand for hard currency comes on the same day that its military leaders issued new threats to annihilate the United States, Israel, Britain, and Saudi Arabia. Both moves represent a further escalation in an already tense standoff between the Trump administration and Iranian mullahs.
Iranian leaders accused the United States and other Western powers of organizing a spate of popular anti-regime protests that have spread across Iran in recent weeks. The country's courts are now demanding that America pay a "$130 billion fine in damages caused by Washington's crimes to ordinary Iranian plaintiffs who have suffered from the unilateral policies of the White House and its destructive role in riots of last month," according to reports in the country's state-controlled media.
Gholam Hossein Esmayeeli, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary, claimed on Tuesday that more than 360 separate complaints had been filed in Iranian courts against the United States for harm resulting from U.S. sanctions.
Meanwhile, Iranian military leaders confirmed they will be holding joint war drills with China and Russia on Dec. 27. The confirmation of this major war exercise was accompanied by renewed threats of violence by Tehran's military brass.
Major General Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, promised to "annihilate" the United States, Britain, Israel, and Saudi Arabia if these countries attempt any military action against Iran.
"You have experienced our power in the battlefield and received a powerful slap across your face and could not respond; the world has come to observe some of these slaps, while it has not in some other cases," Salami was quoted as saying on Tuesday during a military rally. "You should wait. If you cross our redlines, we will annihilate you."
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Iran's new cash demands.