“As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to your threats,” Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani said Thursday, according to the BBC. “Talk to me, not to the president. It is not in our president’s dignity to respond to you.”
“We are near you, where you can’t even imagine,” he said. “Come. We are ready.”
Soleimani — who leads the Quds Force of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards — accused Trump of using the language of “night clubs and gambling halls,” and continued: “If you begin the war, we will end the war. You know that this war will destroy all that you possess.”
The comments come in the wake of Trump’s nearly all-caps tweet warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that if he threatened the U.S. again, he would “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
Trump’s startling tweet on Sunday was a response to Rouhani’s comments that hostile behavior from the US would result in the “mother of all wars.” But on Tuesday, Trump signaled he’s ready to make a “real deal” on Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Iran is not the same country anymore, that I can say,” Trump said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
“But we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster.” Trump withdrew in May from a 2015 nuclear pact that President Barack Obama and a number of other countries inked with Iran — a deal Trump has called “the worst” ever negotiated.