Ex-defense chief warns Trump not to turn New Year to mourning for Americans

January 2, 2021 - 0:14

TEHRAN — Former Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has advised outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump not to turn the New Year to a mourning ceremony for the American people.

“I saw in the news that the American [rulers] have raised the alarm out of fear of [Iran’s] retaliation and they have flown two B-52 bombers over the Persian Gulf,” Dehghan wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

“All of their military bases in the region are covered by our missiles,” the general said. “I advise the fired White House [dweller] not to turn the New Year into a mourning ceremony for the Americans.”

Two nuclear-capable American B-52 bombers flew over the Persian Gulf after nonstop flights to the region from their U.S.-based hangars. It was the third time in six weeks that American bombers were conducting long-range flights off the Iranian coast.

It came after the U.S. Navy announced the arrival of a nuclear-powered submarine in the Persian Gulf last week. The USS Georgia passed the Strait of Hormuz accompanied by two American warships, making it the first missile-loaded submarine of its kind to enter the Persian Gulf in eight years.

This also comes as Iranians and Iraqis are preparing to mark the first anniversary of the martyrdom of their popular commanders, namely Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were assassinated in a U.S. drone strike on January 3 last year.

The strike, which was directly ordered by Trump, triggered a strong anti-American backlash across the region, leading to growing calls for the U.S. military to end its presence in the Middle East.

Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles on a U.S. military base in Iraq on January 8 as part of its revenge for the assassination. 

Recently, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said revenge for the Iranian general was certain and would be exacted at the right time.

Meanwhile, on December 20, several Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s highly fortified Green Zone, which houses the American embassy.

Washington was quick to point the finger at Iran, but the Islamic Republic has strongly denied any involvement. The Iranian Foreign Ministry called the attack “dubious” and said Iran Tehran condemns attack on diplomatic centers. 

“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” Trump warned Iran via Twitter on December 23.

In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump will bear responsibility for any provocative move against Iran in the final days of his administration.

MH/PA

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