“The American leaders… have got this message that if they attack Iran, they will encounter a fate similar to that of Saddam Hussein,” the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement broadcast by Iranian national television, Reuters reported.
Iran was marking the date it won a key battle in its eight-year war with its neighbor Iraq between 1980 and 1988. Hussein, who ruled Iraq during the war years, was deposed during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a US-led Western coalition, then tried and, in 2006, executed by Iraqi authorities.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, making his first public comments since US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a series of demands from Iran, said the US had a deep enmity toward his country, but that if Iranian officials do their duty, the country would defeat the US.
“There is no doubt that the Americans will be defeated…provided Iranian officials fully perform their duties,” he said, according to Reuters.
Other senior Iranian officials rejected the demands, saying the US was afraid to face Iran in battle and vowing to push ahead with their country’s military programs.
On Monday a senior IRGC officer said Pompeo deserves a “strong punch to the mouth.”
Commenting on US threats to ramp up sanctions on Iran, Ismail Kowsari said, “The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American Secretary of State and anyone who backs them.”
Pompeo had said the Trump administration was preparing to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Tehran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month, as he laid out his list of demands for a new treaty.
Pompeo argued that Iran had advanced its march across the Middle East precisely because of the nuclear deal, which saw the West lifting sanctions on Tehran in return for Iran limiting its nuclear program.
US President Donald Trump’s newly installed top diplomat also hinted at the possibility of military action should Iranian leaders reconstitute their nuclear program.
“If they restart their nuclear program, they will have big problems, bigger problems than they’ve ever had before,” he said, also threatening to “crush” Iran’s terrorist proxies around the world.”