Iran Threatens to Assassinate Top Trump Administration Officials

Iranians lift national flags during a ceremony in the capital Tehran, on January 3, 2022, commemorating the second anniversary of the killing in Iraq of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani (portrait) and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a US raid. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by ATTA …
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images

Iran is threatening to assassinate senior U.S. officials who were involved in the targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani, two years after President Donald Trump ordered the strike against the Iranian general.

Iran recently announced it was imposing “sanctions” on 52 U.S. officials, in what a senior Biden administration official said amounted to a threat of violence.

“Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday. “This includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.”

“We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran,” he said. “Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences.

In remarks published by Iranian media, IRGC Quds Force Commander Sardar Esmail Qaani vowed to enact revenge over the killing.

“Wherever it is needed, we will provide for the basis of revenge against the Americans from within their houses and by people by their side without us being present,” Qaani said. “If wise people in America are found who deal with those who committed the atrocity of assassinating Commander Soleimani, this action will be much less burdensome for America than if the offspring of the Resistance Front, who know no bounds, to themselves go and take this revenge.”

The Washington Examiner cited one of the 52 “sanctioned” officials, former deputy national security adviser under Trump, Victoria Coates, as saying that while Iran has made such threats before, they are not usually successful.

The report said:

“So far, they haven’t been successful, but they only have to be successful once.”

Coates is one of the individuals named on Iran’s new sanctions list, which she agreed is “a euphemism for something more concrete” than an economic punishment or refusal to grant a hypothetical visa request.

“It would be reassuring if either somebody from the White House or the FBI wanted to reach out and say, ‘There are no current threats against you of which we are aware; do you have any concerns?’” she said.

Coates said that she isn’t aware of any such contact between the Biden team and former Trump administration officials such as herself and credited Sullivan for issuing the “very welcome” statement on Sunday. “They’ve been pretty busy,” she acknowledged. “There’s been a lot going on … I’m very glad he’s focused on it.”

The threat of “sanctions” occured even as attempts to revive the tattered 2015 nuclear deal continue in Vienna. On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry nixed the option of an interim agreement with world powers.

“We all need to make sure that the return of the United States [to the deal is accompanied by verification and the receipt of guarantees, and that a lifting of sanctions must take place. These are not achieved by any temporary agreement,” a spokesman for the ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said.

Iran marked the anniversary of Soleimani’s death by revealing the “untold story” of how the regime smuggled arms to Palestinian terror groups in order to “to multiply the power of the resistance against the Zionist regime,” The Jerusalem Post reported citing Iranian media.

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