Iranian troops during a parade in Tehran. September 2007 © Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters
The war with Iran “will destroy everything you own,” Major General Qassem Soleimani warned Trump on Thursday, local TV channel Al-Alam reported.
His comment comes after US and Iranian leaders exchanged public threats, and Washington proposed to block Iranian oil shipment.
Speaking at a memorial event in the western Iranian city of Hamadan, Soleimani said that the Red Sea, an important shipping route, “is no longer safe” due to the American presence in the region.
The head of the Quds Force also cautioned Trump against further public outbursts against Tehran. “You must understand what you’re saying when insulting the Iranian people and our president,” he said.
US-Iranian relations deteriorated dramatically since Trump pulled out of the landmark Iran nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May. He labeled the deal “defective at its core” and cited mistrust against Tehran.
Despite the US claims, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in a series of consecutive reports that Tehran had been fulfilling the terms of the agreement.
The Iran Deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know what will happen. In just a short time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons…. pic.twitter.com/58qwBLzxIH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2018
Washington reversed its policy of gradually lifting the existing sanctions imposed on Iran. At the same time, the US Treasury Department introduced a new set of restrictions targeting Iranian officials.
Trump’s decision to ditch JCPOA was heavily criticized by China, Russia and the EU who are also signatories to the deal. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the unilateral withdrawal from the agreement by the US shows that Washington “can’t be trusted” to stick to international commitments.
On 3rd anniversary of JCPOA, it remains a triumph of multilateral diplomacy despite US actions. While we knew US can't be trusted to keep its word—as its allies have now discovered—JCPOA proves that toxic unilateralism of Trump Admin means it can’t be relied on to honor any deal.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 14, 2018