In an unique interview with CNN in Tehran, the adviser — Main Common Hossein Dehghan — made probably the most particular and direct menace but by a senior Iranian official following the killing of Common Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
Dehghan mentioned Iran would retaliate instantly in opposition to US “navy websites.”
Dehghan is a former defence minister and is now the principle navy adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He advised CNN that reprisals would come from Iran itself, not its allied militia within the area.
“It is perhaps argued that there could possibly be proxy operations. We are able to say America, Mr Trump, has taken motion instantly in opposition to us — so we take direct motion in opposition to America.”
In frequent with different Iranian officers, Dehghan instructed that Iran was in no hurry to retaliate and would select its targets rigorously. “Our response will probably be clever, effectively thought of and in time, with decisive deterrent impact.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had earlier mentioned that Individuals would face penalties for killing Soleimani “not solely at present, but in addition within the coming years.”
Given the rhetoric of either side, there’s a rising danger of escalation in what has change into probably the most harmful confrontation between the US and Iran in a long time.
Late Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that “If Iran assaults an American Base, or any American, we will probably be sending a few of that model new stunning tools their manner…and with out hesitation!”
The President continued: “They attacked us, & we hit again. In the event that they assault once more, which I’d strongly advise them to not do, we’ll hit them more durable than they’ve ever been hit earlier than!”
Dehghan responded defiantly to Trump’s warning.
“It was America that has began the battle. Due to this fact, they need to settle for acceptable reactions to their actions,” he mentioned.
“The one factor that may finish this era of battle is for the Individuals to obtain a blow that is the same as the blow they’ve inflicted. Afterward they need to not search a brand new cycle.”
In current months, officers within the Trump administration and even the President himself have floated the potential of renewed dialogue with Iran. Dehghan dismissed that risk.
“Look, for a number of causes we did not wish to negotiate with this incumbent US administration. Now, after what occurred to Mr Soleimani there is no such thing as a level for negotiations or relations. It is inconceivable.”
Dehgahn additionally responded to Trump’s menace to incorporate Iranian cultural websites amongst 52 targets the US had chosen to strike within the occasion of Iranian retaliation. The quantity was chosen to match the variety of hostages taken within the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy, Trump mentioned.
Dehghan mentioned the tweets had been ridiculous and absurd. “If he says 52 we are saying 300 — and they’re accessible to us,” Dehghan mentioned. “No American navy employees, no American political heart, no American navy base, no American vessel will probably be protected.
“He does not know worldwide regulation. He does not recognise UN resolutions both. Mainly he’s a veritable gangster and a gambler.”
At one level within the interview, Dehghan pulled out an image of Soleimani and held it as much as the digicam.
“All Iranians are Qasem Soleimani,” he mentioned, and insisted the Quds drive, which Soleimani had led since 2003, wouldn’t be weakened by his dying. The Quds have been liable for projecting Iranian affect throughout the Center East and past and have performed a significant position in supporting the Assad regime in Syria.
“The one that has changed him has been cooperating with him for 20 years. He has the identical method and technique,” Dehghan mentioned.
Iran’s will to defend its pursuits “has elevated a thousand instances. We do not really feel something. We have now a logic, the logic of martyrdom.”
Because the disagreement escalates, Dehghan echoed the feedback of different senior Iranian officers that the nation was not looking for battle.
“Let me inform you one factor: Our management has formally introduced that we now have by no means been looking for battle and we won’t be looking for battle.”
However his demand that the US not reply to any reprisals by Iran for Soleimani’s killing will certainly fall on deaf ears. This cycle of violence accelerated when a US contractor was killed in a rocket assault on a joint US-Iraqi navy base on December twenty ninth.
US officers held a pro-Iranian militia liable for the assault. Its chief was killed together with Soleimani within the US drone strike in Baghdad.