US Warns Tehran of “Serious Consequences” of Any Attack on US Nationals
The United States has warned Iran that it would face “serious consequences” if it attacks a US citizen after Tehran sanctioned 51 US nationals for their alleged role in the death of a powerful Iranian commander there is two years old.
“Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a Jan.9 statement.
âIf Iran attacks any of our nationals, including one of the [Americans] appointed yesterday, he will face serious consequences. “
Tehran on Jan. 8 announced sanctions – including against US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley – for their role in the death of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
The move would allow Iranian authorities to seize all assets held in Iran by those sanctioned. But the move is mostly symbolic given the lack of assets owned by Americans in the country.
Soleimani, who led the elite Quds force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed on January 3, 2020 in a U.S. drone strike at Baghdad airport.
Soleimani was considered one of the main architects of Iranian military strategy in the Middle East, and his assassination brought the United States and Iran closer to military conflict. Tehran retaliated by launching a missile strike targeting US forces in Iraq.
In addition to Milley, Iran announced sanctions against former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.
âLooks like I’m going to have to cancel my relaxing getaway to Iran,â Haley tweeted in response.
“When you are sanctioned by Iran, the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, you know you are doing something right,” she wrote.
In his statement, Sullivan said the Americans may have “our disagreements over Iranian policy. But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations.”
“We are united in the defense of our people [and] work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attack led by Iran. ”
With reports from AFP and Reuters