Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has threatened retaliation against everyone who had a role in the January killing of a top IRGC general by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.
The IRCG's website on September 19 quoted General Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious, and real.”
“We will hit those who had direct and indirect roles,” Hossein said. “You should know that everybody who had role in the event will be hit, and this is a serious message. We do prove everything in practice.”
Trump warned earlier this week that Washington would respond harshly to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of General Qasem Soleimani, tweeting that “if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we’re going to hit them 1000 times harder.”
Trump's warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani's killing near Baghdad International Airport.
“We took out the world’s number one terrorist and the mass murderer of American troops and many, many troops and many people all over the world,” Trump said. “Qasem Soleimani is dead. He’s dead. Bad guy. Bad guy. Very bad guy.”
Salami rejected the report of an Iranian plot to assassinate the U.S. ambassador, Lana Marks, but made clear that Iran intends to avenge Soleimani's death.
“Do you think we'd hit a female ambassador in return for our martyred brother?’ Salami said.
In January, Iran launched a ballistic-missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq in response to the fatal drone strike against Soleimani.
Trump has stepped up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions since he pulled the United States out of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
Tehran has continued to expand its stockpile of enriched uranium and has pressured other nations to offset the harm of U.S. sanctions. But Tehran continues to insist that its nuclear program is not aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
With reporting by AP and Reuters.
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