Iran’s Foreign Ministry slammed the US’ policy of “targeted and governmental terrorism” after an American diplomat threatened Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani with the same fate as his assassinated predecessor, Qassem Soleimani.
“These words are an official announcement and a clear unveiling of America’s targeted and governmental terrorism,” ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told Iranian state media on Thursday in response to threats made against Ghaani by US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook. Mousavi called on the international community to join him in condemning the thuggish statement from the American.
“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans [as Soleimani] then he will meet the same fate,” Hook had told Arabic-language outlet Asharq al-Awsat earlier that day, vowing to “hold the regime and its agents responsible for any attack on Americans or American interests in the region.”
There has not been any indication Iran is planning to kill Americans, however, even after the death of the beloved general. Tehran actually spared US lives by tipping Iraq off to planned missile attacks on two coalition bases, allowing both Iraqi and American soldiers to vacate the facilities. The bases were severely damaged in precision strikes meant as revenge for the Soleimani killing, but no Americans were hit.
While Hook and Washington have insisted Soleimani was behind an ever-growing number of American deaths, they have been unable to supply any evidence – certainly not for an impending plot that would have required his immediate assassination – leading even some members of President Donald Trump’s own party to vow opposition to any authorization for war with Iran.
Evidence Soleimani was behind previous attacks on Americans – particularly the rocket strike on K-1 Air Base last month that killed a US contractor and sparked the most recent escalation of force – has also been lacking. The claim that the Iranian general was responsible for the deaths of “600 Americans,” often repeated by Hook and other members of the Trump administration in the days following Soleimani’s assassination by airstrike at the Baghdad airport, grew out of a propaganda figure cooked up by former US vice president Dick Cheney when he was trying to whip up the Bush administration for a war with Iran. More fanciful claims, like Vice President Mike Pence’s suggestion that Soleimani was somehow involved in the 9/11 terror attacks, also have no basis in fact.
Ghaani was appointed to replace Soleimani the day after the latter’s death and has vowed to continue on his “luminous path,” with the ultimate goal of removing US forces from the Middle East. Like Soleimani, he made his name during the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s.