Iran’s commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Quds Force Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani warned US President Donald Trump against threatening Iran, promising that were the US to begin a war Iran would finish it.
“Gambler Trump! I alone will stand against you. We, the Iranian nation, have gone through tough events. You [may] begin a war, but it is us who will end it. Go ask your predecessors [about it]. So stop threatening [us]... We are ready to stand against you,” Soleimani was quoted as saying by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency in the central city of Hamedan.
“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine... Come. We are ready,” he said.
Earlier in the week, Trump threatened Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Twitter, warning in text written in all caps locks of unprecedented “consequences” if Tehran would threaten Washington:
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
On Thursday, Soleimani addressed Trump’s tweet, which came after Rouhani threatened that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
“As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to Trump’s threats. If he wants to use the language of threat, he should talk to me, not to the president [Rouhani],” Soleimani said.
Soleimani, one of the most prominent and influential military figures in Iran also mentioned the war in Afghanistan and the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah:
“What the hell could you do during the 33-day war with the evil Israeli regime, which is like a weight hanging around your ankles? You experienced all sorts of defeats and setbacks and you are telling us what errors you can commit in Gaza? Is it not that you accepted Hezbollah’s conditions for ending the war?
“What have you been able to do [to us] over the past 20 years that you did not do? And [you] are threatening us now?” he asked.
Soleimani’s words come as tensions have risen between both the United States and Iran as well as between Israel and the Islamic Republic.
Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the growing Iranian presence on its borders and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are redlines for the Jewish State.
Israel has admitted to having carried out one hundred strikes in Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah targets and is suspected of carrying out hundreds of others.
On Wednesday, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated that the IRGC’s fighter jets will be equipped with cruise missiles with a range of 1,500 kilometers.
Hajizadeh made the announcement on the sidelines of a ceremony in Tehran where 10 Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets had been upgraded with new systems that would allow them to carry and fire smart and cluster bombs as well as air-to-ground and air-to-air missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Tasnim said.