DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is ready to strike the United States and Israel if they give a reason, the head of the Elite Revolutionary Guards said Thursday on a live broadcast on state television.
“If you make the slightest mistake, we will beat both of you,” said Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami in a speech marking the 40th day since Commander Qassem Soleimani died.
Soleimani, who was head of the Quds Force, a division of the Guard responsible for operations outside Iran, was killed by a U.S. drone in Baghdad on January 3, along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
The murder of Soleimani will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem, according to the Tasnim news agency, the spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard said earlier.
“The cowardly and ingenious assassination of the commanders Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis by the Americans will lead to the liberation of Jerusalem by the grace of God,” said Ramezan Sharif.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that Iran would support Palestinian armed groups as much as possible and urged the Palestinians to face a US plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
US President Donald Trump announced a plan that would create a Palestinian state under strict conditions, but would allow Israel to take over long-contested Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian leaders reject it as biased towards Israel.
Regardless, Soleimani asked the Iranians to support Khamenei and said the political groups should put their differences aside. He made the call in his will, which new Quds Force chief Brigadier Esmail Ghaani read at a ceremony in Tehran.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; editing by Giles Elgood)