Iran's Army Chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi (Photo Credit: Twitter/@JrRezvani)
Iran's Army Chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi on Sunday asserted that the United States of America lacked the "courage" to initiate a conflict.
"I doubt they have the courage to initiate a conflict in which the Americans threatened to strike 52 targets,”the state news agency IRNA quoted Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi as saying.
The statement from Iran’s Army Chief comes after US President Donald Trump said that Washington is targeting 52 sites in Iran and will hit them "very fast and very hard" if the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets.
In a series of tweet on Saturday, President Trump said, “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently….”
He further said, “....hundreds of Iranian protesters. He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have.....”
“....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!,” President Trump added.
Earlier, Iran unfurled a 'red flag of revenge' on an important mosque in after vowing to avenge the killing of its top general in an airstrike by US drones. The red flag was hoisted above the Jamkaran Mosque which is on the outskirts of the holy city of Qom, about 100 miles south of Tehran. In Shiite tradition, red flags symbolise both blood spilled unjustly and serve as a call to avenge a person who is slain. The text on the flag says: "Those who want to avenge the blood of Hussein".
The flag can be seen as a clear warning that Iran is getting ready to strike back at America. General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force and mastermind of its regional security strategy, was killed in an airstrike early Friday near the Iraqi capital's international airport. Soleimani and Mohandis were killed along with eight others in a precision drone strike early Friday as they drove away from Baghdad international airport in two vehicles.
The death of Quds Force commander Major General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiraling tensions between Iran and the United States, despite President Donald Trump's insistence he did not want war.