Iran has renewed threats to target former President Donald Trump and top members of his former Cabinet, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the 2020 killing of its top military commander, Qasem Soleimani.
"God willing, we are looking to kill Trump [and] Pompeo … and military commanders who issued the order should be killed," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aerospace force, told Iranian state television Friday.
The threats are nothing new, though this time they came as Tehran was announcing a new long-range cruise missile capable of flying more than 1,000 miles, which could give it additional striking capabilities to U.S. forces in the Middle East.
Iran fired back at the 2020 killing of its top Revolutionary Guard commander by launching a series of missiles at U.S. troops stationed at two separate bases in Iraq.
No American soldiers were killed in the attack that Iran at the time described as a "slap in the face" for the U.S., vowing to strike at those responsible for Soleimani’s killing.
Hajizadeh said Iran did not intend to kill "poor soldiers" stationed at the base and that Trump and his top officials were the true target.
"It's obvious that the strike on Qasem Soleimani was a crucial loss for Iran's regime. They have on multiple occasions made public threats of vengeance toward the United States and more specifically toward individuals in the Trump White House, but we have thankfully not seen any action," The Foreign Desk editor-in-chief Lisa Daftari told Fox News Digital.
Senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Behnam Ben Taleblu argued that Iran’s comments should not be taken lightly and said, "Make no mistake, Iranian military officials mean what they say here. They still seek to wash blood away with blood."
"Threats by the long arm of the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism against American officials like Trump, Pompeo and McKenzie are not to be taken lightly," he added in reference to the former head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie. "This regime continues to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to global terrorism."
But while Western analysts disagree on the severity of Tehran’s threat against previous administration officials, its expansion of its military arms has been an issue that defense officials have been increasingly concerned over – particularly as Iran looks to back Russia amid its war in Ukraine.
Iran has expanded its missile program in recent years, ramping up what it claims are defensive arms as a show of defiance to the West in the wake of the collapsed nuclear arms treaty.
While Western officials are concerned over Iran’s growing arms programs, it has also urged caution when it comes to the viability of Iran’s capabilities, including in November when the Pentagon said it was skeptical of Hajizadeh’s claims that Iran had added hypersonic ballistic missile to its stockpiles.