Tensions continue to grow between the United States and Iran over the Trump administration’s plan to place more sanctions on the Tehran regime. Meanwhile, the Iranians held large military exercises and threatened the U.S. if any kind of violence erupts. But despite numerous stories suggesting that the Iranian government is biding its time, Hossein Salami, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has vowed revenge to all who were involved in the killing of general Soleimani in January.
Salami said that revenge for Soleimani’s death would be “decisive, serious, and real.”
In a speech to commanders and staff of the military, Salami stated that “We will hit the people who, directly and indirectly, played a role in the martyrdom of the great man [Soleimani].” According to the Tasmin News Agency, Salami vowed that hundreds of Iranian missiles had been prepared to “devastate” American targets in a possible confrontation after the retaliatory strike on the U.S. airbase of Ain al-Assad in Iraq in January.
In a characteristically boastful fashion, Salami said that Iran is poised to capture every U.S. base in the Middle East simultaneously. “The enemy is being monitored by the IRGC everywhere and would get hit if necessary,” Salami added.
“We have thousands of military brigades on the ground that, if they move, will wreck all US interests,” he added. “We are capable of capturing and sweeping all U.S. bases simultaneously.”
“The Iranian nation shouldn’t worry about Trump’s bluffs. We won’t trigger wars, but we have developed the capability to chase and destroy the enemy both under the ground and in the skies.”
“If a hair is missing from an Iranian, we will burn all of your hair. These threats are serious. We won’t do verbal fights. We will leave everything to the field of action. We will go on, with confidence and strength,” he added.
Soleimani, the former commander of the Quds Force, was killed in a U.S. drone strike on January 3, shortly after arriving at Baghdad airport. Soleimani was traveling with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Iran had dismissed as “baseless” the story first published by Politico.com on September 13 about a plot to assassinate the U.S. ambassador in South African Lana Marks. South African officials said there was insufficient evidence to prove that an assassination was being planned.
“At present, the information provided is not sufficient to sustain the allegation that there is a credible threat against the United States ambassador to South Africa,” South Africa’s State Security Agency spokesperson Mava Scott said in a statement. He added that South African officials had met with their U.S. counterparts to request additional information. They also beefed up security arrangements around the U.S. ambassador.
Ambassador Marks is a longtime friend of Trump who began her work as an ambassador to South Africa last October.
The story around the ambassador prompted Salami to say that any revenge for Soleimani would be taken in an “honorable, fair and just manner, not on a female ambassador to South Africa.”
On Saturday, Iranian officials again denied any plot to assassinate the U.S. ambassador in South Africa in retaliation for the assassination of Quds Force commander MG Qassem Soleimani.