Tensions between the US and Iran spiked after Iran targeted the American military at the Ayn al-Asad Air Base and a facility in Erbil in Iraq on January 7 in response to the assassination of the IRGC Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.
A day after the attack the US president made no mention of an imminent military response to Iran’s missile strikes, pledging a fresh wave of sanctions instead and offering a diplomatic option to defuse regional tensions in his highly-anticipated address.
US Secretary of Defence Marc Esper, however, said that the US military remains “poised and ready” for any threat in light of any crises in relations between the two countries.
Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Abdollah Araghi, for his part, said that the conflict is not over and promised an even “harsher revenge”. His statement was preceded by the new chief of the al-Quds forces, who said that the elite Iranian forces will follow the path chosen by late commander Qasem Soleimani.