Iran admits planning attacks on 400 US targets after Trump sparked outrage in Tehran

Donald Trump’s assassination of the second-most powerful figure in Iran in early January sparked fears of a full-blown war. Tehran retaliated by firing ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where American troops were stationed. But plans to hit hundreds of additional targets were also drawn up in case the operation led to a wider war, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) air arm said on Friday.

IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told reporters that his troops were on standby for a larger assault if the US decided to hit back.

He said military commanders expected President Trump to order a retaliatory attack within 20 minutes of the Iraqi base being fired upon.

General Hajizadeh explained: “So we were ready to attack 400 American targets.”

He did not elaborate on what targets Iran had in mind.

He also suggested that when the Trump administration took out General Soleimani they “wanted to show that they killed a symbol of resistance, and they were sure that Iran would not respond to their attack”.

Following the airstrikes on the military bases, IRGC was on high alert.

They mistakenly shot down a civilian airliner outside the capital, killing all 176 people on board.

The General’s admission comes as tensions heat up between Washington and Tehran once again.

Last week, US military ships were harassed by Iranian boats while sailing through the Persian Gulf.

According to the Navy, “fast boats” sped towards the warships, with one coming as close as 10 yards.

On Wednesday President Trump said the US Navy should fire on Iranian boats if they continue to harass vessels.

This week Iran announced it had successfully launched a military satellite into orbit for the first time.

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Britain said on Friday that Iran’s launch of a military satellite using ballistic missile technology was of significant concern and inconsistent with a United Nations Security Council resolution.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for Iran to be held accountable for the launch.

He said he believed it defied the UN Security Council resolution.

A 2015 UN resolution “called upon” Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons following an agreement with six world powers to limit its nuclear programme.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch using ballistic missile technology are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“The UN has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

“Iran must abide by this.”

Tehran has denied its activity served as a cover for ballistic missile development.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter to reiterate Iran’s position that its missiles are not “designed” to carry nuclear arms, as required by the UNresolution 2231.

He wrote: “US has been bullying all against UNSC Resolution 2231 since 2017…

“Neither (Europe or the United States) can lecture Iran based on flimsy misreadings of UNSCR 2231.

“Iran neither has nukes nor missiles ‘DESIGNED to be capable of carrying such horrific arms.”

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