Iran warns it will react decisively if attacked and won't 'leave any threat unanswered' as US plans response to American troops deaths

  • IRGC chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said the country will respond to any threat.

  • An Iranian diplomat also warned that Iran will "decisively respond" if attacked.

  • The warnings come as the US plans its response to a drone attack that killed American troops.

Iranian military and diplomatic officials have warned the country will respond if attacked as the US readies for retaliatory action after American troop deaths.

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said Wednesday that Iran will respond to any US threat after President Joe Biden said his administration is planning a response to the drone strike in Jordan that killed US troops.

"We hear threatening words from American officials," Salami said Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. "You have tested us and we know each other," he said, "we will not leave any threat unanswered."

On Tuesday, Biden said that he holds Iran responsible for supplying the militant group that attacked the American base in Jordan and said the US will respond, but he did not explicitly state how.

The White House has said that the response could be a "tiered" approach involving "multiple actions," and officials told NBC that US retaliatory action could involve a weeks-long campaign possibly targeting Iranian targets outside the country. But details of the planned response are still limited.

IRNA, quoting Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, said Wednesday "the Islamic Republic would decisively respond to any attack on the county, its interests and nationals under any pretexts," according to the Associated Press. He said that retaliation would involve a "strong response."

US rhetoric appears to have affected some Iran-backed militant groups. Shortly after Biden's remarks on Tuesday, Kata'ib Hezbollah announced that it would suspend its operations against the US military in the region.

"As we announce the suspension of military and security operations against the occupation forces — in order to prevent embarrassment of the Iraqi government — we will continue to defend our people in Gaza in other ways," Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, Kata'ib Hezbollah's Secretary General, said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Pentagon declined to comment in detail on the announcement during a press briefing Tuesday. He said that "actions speak louder than words," noting that there had been other attacks since the Jan. 28 attack that killed three US troops and wounded at least 40 others.

The spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, also reiterated "there will be consequences" for what happened in Jordan.

The US previously took direct kinetic action against an Iranian target during the Trump administration. In 2020, a US drone strike killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Iran then launched over a dozen missiles in retaliation to the deadly attack, which was preceded by weeks of elevated tensions and attacks by Iran-backed groups.

Despite heated rhetoric, both Biden and Salami have said they do not want a wider war in the Middle East.

"We are not looking for war, but we are not afraid of it either," the Iranian general said. "We are not warmongers, but we defend ourselves and our glory." Biden has also said he's not looking for a wider war, but he has decided there is going to be a response to the drone attack in Jordan.

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