Tehran: The military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said the Islamic republic’s response to a United States strike that killed one of the country’s top commanders will be military, BOL News learnt on Sunday.
In an exclusive interview with CNN in Tehran, the adviser — Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehghan — made the most specific and direct threat yet by a senior Iranian official following the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
Dehghan said Iran would retaliate directly against US “military sites.”
Dehghan is a former defense minister and is now the main military adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He told CNN that reprisals would come from Iran itself, not its allied militia in the region.
“It might be argued that there could be proxy operations. We can say America, Mr. Trump, has taken action directly against us — so we take direct action against America.”
The United States has a growing military presence in the region. Thousands of US troops have been deployed to Saudi Arabia, and there are some 5,000 at bases in Iraq. The US also has a major air base in Qatar and a naval presence in Bahrain, as well as troops stationed in Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier on today, A group claiming to be hackers from Iran breached the website of a little-known US government agency and posted messages vowing revenge for Washington’s killing of top military commander Qasem Soleimani.
The website of the Federal Depository Library Program was replaced with a page titled “Iranian Hackers!” that displayed images of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian flag.
“Martyrdom was (Soleimani’s)… reward for years of implacable efforts,” read a graphic depicting US President Donald Trump being punched by a first emanating from Iran as missiles fly by.
“With his departure and with God’s power, his work and path will not cease and severe revenge awaits those criminals who have tainted their filthy hands with his blood and blood of the other martyrs,” it said.
“This is only small part of Iran’s cyber ability !” another caption on the page read in white text on a black background.
The killing of Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq early Friday brought a furious vow of revenge from Tehran.