0948 GMT February 18, 2020
Iran’s revenge for the US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), will not come in near future but will be a severe one, said Iranian lawmaker Gholamali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi.
“Iran will retaliate in a way that Americans won’t imagine,” added the MP in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily.
Lieutenant General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were assassinated in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Friday.
“American citizens should know that the [US President] Donald Trump’s administration is portraying a hateful image of their country in the world, not a pleasant one. I recommend that American people not allow their president to turn the [Middle East] region into a cemetery for their youth,” said the Parliament member.
Citing Trump’s tweet on Saturday that the US was "targeting" 52 Iranian sites and will strike if Tehran attacks Americans or US assets, Jafarzadeh said, “Trump is a man of bluffs, but we are practical people.”
The Iranian MP also said that the US president “had better worry about the 75,000 American troops, as well as 26 military bases in the Middle East.”
Speaking of Lieutenant General Soleimani’s efforts in the region, Jafarzadeh said, “All people living in the areas once controlled by Daesh believe that if wasn’t because of General Soleimani, the dissolution of this terrorist group would have been unattainable and they would have penetrated other countries, jeopardizing the security of the region even more.”
Calling the assassination of General Soleimani an enormous mistake by the US, Jafarzadeh said Trump’s personal and diplomatic behavior was against international principles.
“Murdering a top commander of a country has adverse consequences at international levels as it is considered an act of war,” noted the MP.
“Although General Soleimani is incomparable with American officials, but the question is that what would have been Americans’ reaction if their defense secretary had been killed?” Jafarzadeh said, adding that “It is a declaration of war” by the US.
He also said that “Iran’s strategy is not in line with war as it is not in the interests of the country, while the Americans make a huge benefit in selling arms in proxy wars in the region.”
“It would be nonsensical for the Americans not to expect a response over the murder of General Soleimani and Trump’s behavior; Iran will surely give a severe reaction,” the Iranian official emphasized.
Speaking on General Soleimani’s replacement by Major General Esmaeil Qa’ani, Jafarzadeh said, “As the Leader of Islamic Revolution asserted, all of General Soleimani’s policies will be followed by General Qa’ani.