It has been one year since the takedown of Iranian terror mastermind General Qasem Soleimani, and to mark the occasion, Iran has begun issuing warnings. Speaking to a crowd at Tehran University, the Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said that the team responsible for Soleimani’s demise would not be safe anywhere on Earth and that even President Trump was not “immune from justice.”
According to The Times of Israel, Raisi warned:
“They will witness severe revenge… What has come so far has only been glimpses… Do not presume that someone, as the president of America, who appeared as a murderer or ordered a murder, may be immune from justice being carried out. Never. Those who had a role in this assassination and crime will not be safe on Earth.”
Yet, it was not only a single politician voicing rhetoric to the domestic audience. The Iranian Foreign Ministry also weighed in to issue not-so-veiled threats. Its official account tweeted:
“By committing a craven act of terror against Gen Soleimani, the US violated int’l law & the UN Charter in a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Iran won’t rest until bringing those responsible [sic] to justice.”
Bluff and Bluster?
The strained relationship between Iran and, well, just about every other nation has dominated foreign policy over the last four years. While many believed that President Barack Obama’s Iran Nuclear Accord would at least take tensions off the front burner, the reality proved much different. The Iranian government not only continued research into nuclear energy and long-range ballistics; they also continued to sponsor terrorism around the globe. Iran took the cash offered by the Obama administration and continued its quiet war against the United States and its allies. Until President Trump.
Despite hyperbolic headlines in the American media suggesting that Trump would drag the U.S. into a bloody battle with the Iranian regime, it seems that the president’s show of strength actually improved relations. When Soleimani was killed, Iran launched rockets at key bases in retaliation but was sure to inform the locations in advance, so as to avoid any casualties. This restrained blustering has been the hallmark of the last four years.
What Way The Future?
On December 23, several rockets were fired at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, in what was soon determined to be an attack from Iranian-backed militias who operate almost freely in the area. President Trump responded in two ways. First came a verbal warning. The president tweeted:
“Our embassy in Baghdad got hit Sunday by several rockets. Three rockets failed to launch. Guess where they were from: IRAN. Now we hear chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq… Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.”
A flyover by two B-52 Bombers – on an interestingly titled “deterrence mission” – swiftly followed.
With the likelihood of a Biden presidency increasing every day, Iran has grown bolder. They know what Joe Biden’s position would be because they have already dealt with it during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The regime knows full well that it will be back to the days of simple rhetoric and cold hard cash while a blind eye is turned to the Quds Force (the terror unit formerly controlled by Soleimani) as it commits acts of terror “socially-distanced” from the ruling Ayatollahs.
Read more from Mark Angelides.