Iran’s imposition of “sanctions” against dozens of Americans is actually an assassination threat on members of former President Trump’s team, according to a senior United States official who threatened “bad consequences” for any harm to them.
“Make no mistake: the U.S. will guard and defend its citizens,” Biden security adviser Jake Sullivan stated Sunday. “This includes those in the country now and those who we formerly in office.”
Iranian officials have made it clear their interest in killing one person involved in the air strike that killed Islamic General Qassem Soleimani. The regime said the second anniversary of his killing, which occasioned much rhetoric and the unveiling of new economic sanctions by Iran that United States observers see as a proxy for violence.
“Wherever it is required, we will give revenge against the Americans from within their homes,” IRGC Commander Sardar Esmail Qaani said in comments published by Iranian tv. “If wise people in America are discovered who committed this atrocity of killing Commander Soleimani, their actions will be a lot less burdensome for the United States than if the children of the Resistance Front, who have no bounds, take this revenge.”
That comment sharpens the point of the economic sanctions that Iran unveiled this weekend, according to observers.
“In essence, an official in the top state sponsor of terrorism invited American citizens to take part in terrorism against each another,” said Foundation for Defense of Democracies official Behnam Ben Taleblu, who had translated the Iranian general’s comments.
Sullivan promised to respond to any such operation. “We will work with our partners to respond to any attacks carried out by the nation of Iran,” he said. “Should Iran attack our citizens, including the 52 people named yesterday, it will have severe consequences.”
Sullivan also urged Iranian officials not to see American disagreements concerning the Iran nuclear deal as a hint that violence against the Donald Trump team would be allowed.
“As Americans, we disagree on politics,” he said. “We have our disagreements about Iran policy. But we are together in our resolve against provocations and threats. We are united in the defense of the American people.”