Following the drone strike that killed top Iran general Qassem Soleimani, Iranian General Hossein Dehghan spoke to CNN on Sunday and said that Iran would “for sure” retaliate by taking aim at the U.S. military and military sites, Newsweek reports.
“The response for sure will be military and against military sites,” Dehghan said and added that Donald Trump should accept such retaliation and not continue the cycle of war.
“It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted. Afterward they should not seek a new cycle.”
In response to the attack, CNN quotes Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani as warning Americans that they would face the consequences for the attack “not only today” but in the “coming years” as well.
It appears that escalation and retribution could happen quickly. On Saturday, Iran threatened to attack U.S. assets as a response to Soleimani’s assassination. In response, Trump threatened to attack Iranian cultural sites, which many noted would amount to war crimes.
Dehghan spoke of Trump’s threats and suggested the president is not familiar with international law or United Nations resolutions.
“Basically, he is a veritable gangster and a gambler. He is no politician he has no mental stability.”
Analysts reportedly believe that Soleimani’s death has united many Iranian people in opposition to the U.S. Holly Dagres, nonresident fellow at Atlantic Council and editor of IranSource, claims that Iran is a “calculating, rational state” that often engages in “asymmetrical warfare,” suggesting that it’s tough to predict how the West Asian country will react.
Dagres also appeared to dismiss Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attempt to tell Iranians to stand up against their government, claiming it’s likely the “last thing” Iranian people are considering in the face of potential war.
Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been mounting since Trump pulled America from the Iran nuclear deal, which appeared to temporarily ease decades of high tension between the two countries. While the White House claims the recent attack on Soleimani was made with intelligence suggesting the general was planning an “imminent” attack on America, reporting by New York Times terrorism correspondent Rukmini Callimachi suggests that Trump made the decision with “razor thin” evidence.”
According to Callimachi’s research, the assassination was considered a “far out” option before that attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which allegedly prompted Trump to order the killing.