The head of Iran's Quds Forces responded to President Donald Trump's threats in a speech on Thursday, saying if the U.S. started a war Iran would "destroy all that you possess". This statement is another in a war of words between the top leaders of both countries in recent days.
Major General Qassem Suleimani - commander of the special forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard - warned the United States not to start a conflict, replying to comments made by Trump earlier this week in which he threatened Iran, which was in reply to a statement from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Trump had replied to Rouhani with an all-caps-lock tweet warning Iran's president to "never, ever" threaten the U.S.
Maj Gen Soleimani - who leads the Quds Force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards - was quoted on Thursday as saying: "As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to your threats… "Talk to me, not to the president [Hassan Rouhani]. It is not in our president's dignity to respond to you.”
Tensions have risen since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal which limited Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions in exchange for lifting of decades-long economic sanctions.
Suleimani also accused the U.S. president of using the language of "night clubs and gambling halls". But he added this warning, "We are near you, where you can't even imagine. Come. We are ready…If you begin the war, we will end the war. You know that this war will destroy all that you possess."
These harsh statements from the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards came a few days after the country’s foreign minister Javad Zarif had replied to Trump’s bombastic tweet, saying “Be Cautious”.
To Iranian President Rouhani: 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 23, 2018
The increasing rhetoric from Iran comes in the light of the Trump Administration’s push to limit the export of oil by re-imposing sanctions on Iran, aircraft exports to Tehran, and precious metals trade among other sectors.