President Trump said Saturday that the Pentagon has already pre-selected 52 military, industrial, and cultural sites in Iran to target in response to threats from the regime to attack American assets in the Middle East.
In addition, the president warned Iran not to attack “any Americans or American assets” in the future.
“Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD.
“The USA wants no more threats!” he declared.
The president’s words came in response to Iranian threats earlier in the day from Revolutionary Guards commander General Gholamali Abuhamzeh.
He said that 35 U.S. targets were within reach for the Islamic republic following the assassination of Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike.
Trump also lashed out at Soleimani for his involvement in the deaths of hundreds of Iranian protests back home, and for planning attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad this week, as well as additional hits in other locations.
In his threats on behalf of Tehran, Abuhamzeh had said that “vital American targets” were “identified by Iran since a long time ago.”
He also threatened Israel.
“Some 35 U.S. targets in the region, as well as Tel Aviv, are within our reach,” he was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency, a state-run media outlet.
Democrats have criticized the strike, claiming it made it more likely Iran would again strike American targets.
But experts told The Epoch Times that in the short term, Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is unlikely to order attacks on U.S. assets while some Iranians mourning Soleimani.
“Khamenei is unlikely to go to war during the coming days, as he’s scheduled to pray over Soleimani on Monday at Tehran University,” Sam Bazzi, Middle East expert and founder of Hezbollah Watch, said.