Washington on Sunday threatened Iran with “serious consequences” if its nationals were “attacked”, the day after Tehran announced sanctions against fifty Americans. These new sanctions come on the second anniversary of the assassination of the powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, killed in early 2020 in an American raid in Baghdad, on the orders of then-President Donald Trump.
“If Iran were to attack any of our citizens, including one of the 52 people named yesterday, it would face serious consequences,” US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement. “The United States of America will protect and defend its citizens. This includes those currently serving the United States, and those who have served in the past, ”the statement added.
About fifty American citizens targeted
Tehran on Saturday added more than fifty US citizens to a list of people accused of somehow participating in the decision-making or organization of the elimination of General Soleimani. Among these names are the US Chief of Staff Mark Milley, and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. “Looks like I’m going to have to cancel my relaxing vacation in Iran …” the latter tweeted ironically last Sunday.
On Monday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi threatened former American leaders, including Donald Trump, with revenge during a rally in Tehran marking the anniversary of the general’s assassination.
Iran had also declared a few days earlier that the current US administration of Joe Biden was “responsible” for Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Soleimani. On January 3, 2020, an armed drone sprayed the vehicle aboard which was Qassem Soleimani, architect of Iranian strategy in the Middle East. The night attack, on a road to Baghdad International Airport, raised fears of an open war between Tehran and Washington, two historical enemies.