Iran should not “mistake U.S. prudence and discretion for weakness” U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
He was speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem during a press conference, adding no one has granted Iran a “hunting license in the Middle East.”
Bolton’s words of advice for the Islamic republic come days after President Donald Trump called off military strikes on Iran after learning approximately 150 Iranians would be killed, saying it would’ve been out of proportion to the downing of an unmanned American surveillance drone by Iran.
Bolton also revealed sanctions will continue against Tehran and that the U.S. reserves the right to attack it at a later point. He emphasized that Trump had only “stopped the strike from going forward at this time.’”
Bolton’s tempered advice stands in contrast to the message coming out of Tehran after senior Iranian military commanders warned Sunday any U.S. attack on Iran will be met with a massive loss of life by American forces.
The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Gen. Gholamali Rashid as backing his country’s military prowess, warning Washington “should behave in a responsible way to protect the lives of American forces.”
Gen. Rashid said if hostilities open against the Islamic republic, its scope and duration could not be controlled, blaming any escalation in the Middle East on “U.S. interventionist policy.”
An important meeting today in Jerusalem with US National Security Advisor @AmbJohnBolton. The strength of the alliance between Israel and the United States is at an all-time high. This meeting will strengthen our alliance even more. pic.twitter.com/SZi038RLLI
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 23, 2019
The general oversees and coordinates joint military operations in the Iranian Armed Forces.
His words of warning were echoed by the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami, who told Washington officials to leave Iran alone.
“Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and national interests,” Salami said.