Iran will respond to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike by targeting “military sites”, an advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's said on Sunday.
While speaking to CNN former Iranian defence minister Hossein Dehghan said: "The response for sure will be military and against military sites".
Dehghan reiterated the position that Iran “will not be seeking war”.
"It was America that has started the war. Therefore, they should accept appropriate reactions to their actions. The only thing that can end this period of war is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted,” he told the network. “Afterward they should not seek a new cycle."
Dehghan also used the opportunity to respond to a threat by US President Donald Trump on Saturday night that any Iranian retaliation would be met by the targeting of 52 unspecified Iranian sites, describing them as “ridiculous and absurd.”
Many of the areas which the US plans to target may be culturally important or UNESCO protected sites.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
"Trump doesn't know international law. He doesn't recognize U.N. resolutions either. Basically, he is a veritable gangster and a gambler. He is no politician he has no mental stability," Dehghan told CNN, citing United Nations Resolution 2347, which makes illegal the destruction of cultural heritage under international law, which the US itself is a signatory to since 2017.
Dehghan warned that if Trump were to carry out his threat: "for sure no American military staff, no American political center, no American military base, no American vessel will be safe. And they are accessible to us."
While speaking to ABC on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo softened the presidents remarks claiming that the US would "act lawfully".
The attack which killed Soleimani in Baghdad was approved by Trump in Mar-a-Lago last Thursday.
The operation took place in Baghdad in the early hours of Friday as Soleimani and officials from Iranian-backed militias were leaving Baghdad airport.
Several missiles were launched from a drone killing at least seven people including Soleimani and his comrades.
Iran has pledged to respond to the attack, vowing "harsh vengeance" against the US for the liquidation of one of their top commanders and beloved officials.
"Harsh vengeance awaits the criminals that got his and other martyrs' blood on their evil hands in last night's incident", said Iran's supreme leader in a statement following the event on Friday.
US officials claim that it was a preemptive strike in response to planned attacks by Soleimani on American targets but have yet to provide any details.
The strike followed a storming of the UN embassy in Iraqi after US airstrikes were launched against Iranian-backed militia groups in Iran which killed 25 people.