UPDATE: Pompeo heckled by Iranian protestors: ‘We’re sick of you’
An Iranian military leader on Tuesday threatened to open the “gates of Hell” on the U.S. military if the Trump administration moves to attack Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, according to new threats that come on the heels of the Islamic Republic declaring that it will not engage in direct talks with President Donald Trump.
Iran has amped up its military rhetoric, threatening the United States directly in recent weeks as the Trump administration readies new sanctions expected to cripple the Iranian economy and further fuel ongoing popular protests against the hardline regime.
The new threats against the United States come as Iran unveils advanced military hardware, such as missiles and drones that are being used against American forces and their allies in regional hotspots such as Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.
Iran has been testing the United States’s resolve with a slew of attacks by its regional terror proxies in a bid to possibly lead America into a wider regional war with Tehran’s allies. The ongoing feud between the United States and Iran has also taken center stage in New York City, as the United Nations General Assembly kicks off this week.
Iranian-backed forces in Iraq have made major inroads, not just in the country’s divided military, but also in the newly elected government, which contains many officials loyal to Tehran. In the last several weeks, Iranian forces have launched missile strikes in the heart of Iraq near the U.S. consulate and American officials stationed there.
Iranian commanders are now threatening to strike directly at the United States if it moves to attack these fighting forces in Iraq.
“If the U.S. forces target the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi Islamic resistance forces, we will open the gates of hell to them,” a Hashd al-Shaabi militant was quoted as saying, attributing the remarks to top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and its Quds Force, which is known to conduct terror operations outside of Iran’s borders.
Meanwhile, Iran is denying that it requested a meeting with Trump on the sidelines of the U.N., reiterating multiple past statements highlighting the regime’s opposition to sitting down with the U.S. in a bid to save the landmark nuclear deal.
“Iran has not requested a meeting,” Alireza Miryousefi, a spokesman for Iran’s U.N. mission, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also taken multiple potshots at Trump, telling crowds in Tehran that Trump has been “begging” Iran to sit down for talks.
“On one hand, they pressure the Iranian nation, and on the other hand, they send us messages through different channels every day calling for negotiations,” Rouhani was quoted as saying at a festival in Tehran.
In additional remarks aimed directly at White House official, Rouhani said, “Should we believe your softness in messages or your brutal acts? If you are sincere and like the Iranian nation, why do you want to exert pressure on people’s lives?”
Full article: Iranian Militant Threatens to Open ‘Gates of Hell’ on U.S. Military (Washington Free Beacon)