Iranian Gen. Esmail Ghaani said in remarks Friday that Iran’s military was ready to respond to “American mischief” two days after the U.S. military flew B-52 strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf.
Ghaani, who succeeded Gen. Qasem Soleimani as leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, spoke during a televised event at Tehran University marking the one year anniversary of Soleimani’s death. The former Quds Force leader was killed by an American drone strike last year ordered by President Donald Trump.
The commander of Iran’s Qud’s Force, Esmail Ghaani once again threatened American officials with revenge for the killing of his predecessor Qasem Soleimani, saying the response might come “from within your house”.
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) January 1, 2021
“From inside your own house, there may emerge someone who will retaliate for your crime,” Ghaani told attendees according to Reuters. “American mischief will not deter the Quds force from carrying on its resistance path.”
Ghaani’s remarks come after a pair of B-52 strategic bombers flew over the region Wednesday in what American officials called a message of deterrence. U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the show of force was meant to “demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called the decision to fly bombers over the Persian Gulf a “pretext for war” in a tweet Thursday. “Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests,” Zarif added.
But military intelligence identified “fairly substantive threats” of an Iranian attack near the first anniversary of Soleimani’s killing, according to the Associated Press. One senior U.S. military official told Fox News that Iran wants to “avenge that killing” and may try to target American embassies in the region. (RELATED: Iranian President Issues Death Threat To President Trump, ‘He Will Go To The Dustbin Of History’)
Iran-backed Shiite militant groups in Iraq recently fired rockets at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad during an attack Dec. 21. Trump issued a strong warning to Iran after the attack. “If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible,” he said in a Dec. 23 tweet.