Trump, in a series of tweets on Saturday, reacted to threats from the Iranian leadership of "revenge" for Soleimani's assassination. The US president lashed out at Tehran, warning of a possible strike on "52 Iranian sites".
Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 January 2020
....targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 January 2020
Trump is referring to dramatic events that shocked the global community in 1979 after 52 American diplomatic staffers were taken hostage in Iran for 444 days. At the time, the United States and Iran broke off diplomatic ties. The United States has since initiated the introduction of international UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.
Iran, meanwhile, remains outraged by the assassination of its top general and has vowed a harsh response. US officials allege the move prevented an "imminent attack" against Washington.
Trump claimed during a news conference following the Soleimani killing that his decision to assassinate the senior Iranian military official while the latter was in neighboring Iraq was aimed to prevent war.
Trump warned that the United States has identified military targets and is prepared to take action if Iran threatens American citizens.
Iran’s National Security Council said in a statement that it will respond to Soleimani's death "at the right time and in the right place".