During a speech on the occasion of Friday prayers in the Iranian city of Mashhad which commemorated this week's second anniversary of the US killing of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, the top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force (who was Soleimani's replacement) vowed to take vengeance "from within the US".
Iranian state and other foreign regional media featured Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani's ultra-provocative words, translating them as follows: "We will prepare ground for the hard revenge against the US from within their homes, as we do not need to be present as supervisors everywhere."
He added that "wherever is necessary we take revenge against Americans by the help of people on their side and within their own homes without our presence," Commander Qaani said.
The fiery speech is being widely interpreted as a threat to strike directly at the American homeland via proxies or terror cells. It's perhaps the most high-level direct threat of attack on US soil since the height of the Osama bin Laden days during the early years of the so-called 'war on terror'.
Further, at a moment that US bases in both Iraq and northeast Syria are coming under increased drone and rocket attack, something particularly intense this week from what the Pentagon has dubbed "Iran-backed militias", the Quds force chief told the Iranian crowds gathered for the speech that operations to "uproot" the Americans had already begun...
"This revenge has begun. Americans will be uprooted from the region," the IRGC Quds Force Commander said.
🇮🇷🇺🇲 BREAKING| #Iran's Quds Force commander #Qaani says revenge for the assassination of #Soleimani will be done by someone in #Trump's own house:— Terror Alarm (@terror_alarm) January 7, 2022
"Soon we will get payback from within their own homes, with people around them. America's roots will be uprooted with Divine Power!" pic.twitter.com/fMfcBESTax
However, amid the series of direct threats aimed at Washington, he held out that the only possibility for the US to avoid suffering vengeance is to "deal with the criminals" on its own. He stressed that otherwise the "children of the Resistance Front" will strike.
Early this week, on Jan.3rd - which marked two years since Soleimani's death on Baghdad airport road - Tehran urged Washington to arrest Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo for the assassination. "If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr's revenge," Iran's President Ibrahim Raisi said in a televised speech Monday, according to Reuters.
Of course, no US leader in history has ever been put on trial for any alleged "war crimes" abroad, and Raisi without doubt knows this. But the demand came just after the Islamic Republic submitted a formal letter to the United Nations requesting that it hold both the US and Israel accountable for the 2020 killing.