President Trump issued a stern warning to Iran Saturday through a series of tweets to deter the country from retaliating after the U.S.-ordered airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani Thursday.
“Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters,” Trump tweeted.
Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike Thursday in Iraq that was ordered by President Trump.
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some 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,” Trump said Saturday, explicitly laying out that the U.S. will act if Iran retaliates.
Following Soleimani’s death, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said “harsh retaliation is waiting for the criminals whose filthy hands spilled his blood.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to “take revenge for this heinous crime.”
The Iran-backed militias that spawned in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), have been quick to threaten prompt revenge on U.S. personnel and interests. Slaughtered alongside Soleimani at the airport was his close confidante Abu Mahdi al-Mohandas, the deputy head of the PMF.
Trump has made it clear that he expected the Iranians to stop threatening the United States.
“The USA wants no more threats!” Trump had tweeted.