As Iran continues to place “sanctions” on a number of those who served in former President Donald Trump’s administration, current U.S. government officials have stepped forward to assert that such moves are akin to an assassination attempts and will be met with “severe consequences” if harm results, as the Washington Examiner reports.
In response to rumblings from Tehran on the second anniversary of the American strike that yielded the death of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (IRGC) Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Biden administration national security adviser Jake Sullivan declared, “Make no mistake, the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens.”
Knowing that Trump is one of the individuals against whom Iran would most like to obtain revenge, Sullivan added that the pledge of protection and defense “includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.”
As The Hill reported, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi earlier this month demanded that Trump as well as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be forced to stand trial for the killing of Soleimani, who died as the result of a drone attack ordered by the former president in early 2000.
Referring to America’s 45th commander in chief as an “aggressor,” “murderer” and “the main culprit” in the military leader’s killing, Raisi vowed that “if Trump and Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge.”
The regime in Tehran held substantial commemorations of Soleimani’s death last week, unleashing harsh rhetoric and a spate of economic sanctions thought by some as intended to represent threats of actual violence.
IRGC Quds Force Commander Sardar Esmail Qaani was quoted in Iranian media as declaring, “If wise people in America are found who deal with those who committed the atrocity of assassinating Commander Soleimani, this action will be much less burdensome for America than if the offspring of the Resistance Front, who know no bounds, to themselves go and take this revenge,” the Examiner further noted.
Even so, Sullivan reiterated the administration’s commitment to retaliating if any such operation should commence, stating, “We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran. Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences.”
Trump administration deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates, whose name appeared on Iran’s sanctions list praised Sullivan for his statement on the matter, which included the “welcome” acknowledgment that while “we have our disagreements on politics… . But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations. We are united in the defense of our people.”