Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif previously warned that the country would retaliate against the U.S. for the killing of its top military general, Qassem Soleimani. Following the Tuesday evening missile strikes on Iraqi bases holding U.S. troops, Zarif tweeted that Iran’s revenge has concluded, Newsweek reports.
“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched,” Zarif wrote. “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard took credit for the missile attacks on two U.S. military bases, citing them as “revenge” for the assassination of Soleimani. American leaders claimed the strike was conducted on intelligence that Soleimani was planning attacks on U.S. interests.
Not long after Zarif’s comment, Donald Trump addressed the United States following Iran’s attacks and suggested that the country does not want to deploy its military against the Western Asia country. Per CBS News, Trump also announced new sanctions on Iran, which he claims will remain until the country changes its behavior. He also attacked the Iran nuclear deal that was negotiated by former President Barack Obama, which Trump pulled out of.
Trump continued to urge allies to pull out of the Iran deal and suggested a new contract with Iran “makes the world safer.”
The speech marks a tipping point following the escalation of attacks between U.S. and Iran and — taking Zarif’s comment into consideration — appears to suggest that no further action will be taken from either country.
Trump: "No Americans were harmed in last night's attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties...Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world." pic.twitter.com/lO1wd2Zy0L— Axios (@axios) January 8, 2020
Regardless, not everyone is convinced. Yashar Ali, a contributor for New York Magazine and HuffPost, believes that Iran will almost certainly retaliate at some point in the future, though exactly when he believes to be uncertain.
“If you think Iran lobbing missiles over the border is the kind of revenge they ultimately have in mind, you’re wrong,” Ali wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread, noting that Iran often attacks vulnerable or unprotected targets across unpredictable timelines.
Ali outlined the multiple targeted bombings Iran has carried out as revenge against Israel, all of which operated on the aforementioned targets and timelines. According to Ali, the U.S. should not take the recent missile attacks as Iran’s retribution and instead expect asymmetrical assaults in the future.
“The problem is so many people have thought about this situation through the lens of conventional warfare. So they believe if there is no conventional warfare that the situation has deescalated,” he tweeted.