A top White House and State Department special envoy for Iran has warned Soleimani's successor that he'll face the same fate as the slain IRGC Quds Force commander if he begins ordering attacks on Americans.
US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told the the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat: “If (Esmail) Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” according to Reuters. For over two decades Esmail Ghaani served as Soleimani's deputy chief before being named to chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) foreign arm which oversees all covert operations and military action abroad.
Hook gave the interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Summit in Davos while accompanying Trump. He said of the president that he has long had a clear policy “that any attack on Americans or American interests would be met with a decisive response.”
“This isn’t a new threat. The president has always said that he will always respond decisively to protect American interests,” Hook said. “I think the Iranian regime understands now that they cannot attack America and get away with it.”
Ghaani, meanwhile recently vowed he would “continue in this luminous path” taken by Soleimani following threats by leaders in Tehran that “severe” vengeance will continue, which by many indicators has not concluded after the Jan.8 ballistic missile 'response' strike on US positions in Iraq.
Despite close Soleimani aid, friend and confidant Esmail Ghaani quickly taking over the Quds force, which occurred the morning after the drone strike at Baghdad airport, Hook insisted in the interview that is death will still “create a vacuum that the [Iranian] regime will not be able to fill,” in terms of leadership.
According to the top US Iran envoy, the newly appointed successor will not be able to influence and gather “Iran’s agents in the region” at the level of Soleimani.