Iran has resumed its saber-rattling against the U.S. on Wednesday after firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. airbases in Iraq on Tuesday night.
“For the time being, the Americans have been given a slap in the face,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, as reported by Iran’s Fars News Agency.
“Military moves like this are not enough. The Americans’ corruption-stirring presence should come to an end,” he added.
Iran considered called the attacks “Martyr Soleimani,” named in the revenge of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force general, Qassem Soleimani.
Khamenei previously announced that any revenge carried out by Iran against the U.S. would be direct and open, a method later echoed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
“Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil,” the Pentagon said in a statement late Tuesday.
The IRGC also threatened the U.S. from retaliating against the missile strikes or else it would face “a more painful and crushing response.”
The IRGC also said that it would target any U.S. ally that tried to intervene.
However, in his remarks made Wednesday morning, President Trump said that Iran “appears to be standing down,” which he praised as a positive thing for the world.
Iran’s Zarif also indicated that Iran had “concluded” its revenge attack for Soleimani and did not desire a war.
“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of UN Charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens & senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” Zarif said.
U.S. and European government sources told Reuters that Iran is suspected to have intentionally aimed the missiles at targets that would avoid casualties. Such a method would’ve sent a message from Iran without harshly provoking the U.S., as casualties would’ve drawn.
“They wanted to respond but almost certainly not to escalate,” one U.S. source said.