Iran has warned the United States against making a “strategic mistake” after President Donald Trump threatened Tehran over reports it planned to avenge the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani.
“We hope that they do not make a new strategic mistake and certainly in the case of any strategic mistake, they will witness Iran’s decisive response,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a televised news conference on Tuesday.
Trump on Monday promised that any attack by Iran would be met with a response “1,000 times greater in magnitude,” after reports said Iran planned to avenge Soleimani’s killing in a US drone attack in January this year.
A US media report, quoting unnamed officials, said an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa was planned before the presidential election in November.
“According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani,” Trump tweeted.
“Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!”
Relations between Washington and Tehran have worsened since Trump unilaterally pulled out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Washington is pushing to extend an arms embargo on Iran that starts to progressively expire in October as well as reimposing UN sanctions on Tehran.
The Iranian navy last week said it drove off a US aircraft that flew close to an area where military exercises were under way near the Strait of Hormuz.
The military said three US aircraft were detected by Iran’s air force radars after they entered the country’s air defence identification zone.