RNA - “As the Ambassador and high representative of my country in the UK, I strongly condemn the vicious lie and provocative news by #Times today. I will ask the concerned UK authorities to take swift action to stop such malicious false propaganda in this very sensitive time,” wrote the envoy in a tweet on Monday.
His tweet came after The Times headlined its first page with a warning from Iran that British troops will be killed.
The paper then quoted an unnamed “senior commander in the Quds Force” saying, “British soldiers could be ‘collateral damage’ in attacks on the US military.”
Claiming that the quoted commander was close to General Soleimani, it added reporting, “Our forces will retaliate and target US troops in the Middle East without any concern about killing its allies, including UK troops, as this has turned into a fully fledged war with much collateral damage expected.”
"We are very clear and have identified our targets and will fight with Americans,” the daily quoted the source as saying.
"We request UK, the key US ally, and other western allies, including the NATO alliance, to not stand with this Trump regime, to avoid wider collateral damage in Iran's response as it conducts foreign military operations against US after Soleimani's assassination."
Lieutenant General Soleimani was martyred in a targeted assassination attack by the US drones at Baghdad International Airport early on Friday morning.
General Qassem Soleimani has been martyred by the US aircraft after lifetime efforts, the IRGC said in a statement early Friday morning.
The airstrike also martyred Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shaabi. The PMF media arm said the two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.
Five Iranian and five Iraqi militaries were martyred by missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.
The Pentagon confirmed the attack in a statement.
The attack came amid tensions that started by the US attack on PMF units that killed 28 Iraqi popular forces. A day later, Iraqi people attacked the US embassy in Baghdad. On Wednesday President Donald Trump ordered about 750 US soldiers deployed to the Middle East.
US officials earlier suggested they were to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.
The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-US relations that could further undermine US influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.
US President Donald Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.
The attack represents a dramatic escalation by the US toward Iran after months of tensions. The tensions take root in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the US from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor.
Earlier on Monday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh underlined that the Islamic Republic's reprisal after assassination of Lieutenant General Soleimani will not be limited to firing a dozen missiles.
“Martry Soleimani’s revenge will not end by launching four missiles or targeting a US military base or even by killing Trump; I mean none of these have the same value as the blood of this martyr,” Brigadier General Hajizadeh told reporters before the start of the funeral ceremony of Lieutenant General Soleimani in Tehran.
He reiterated that attacking the US bases in the region cannot compensate the blood of the General Soleimani.
“The only thing that can compensate the blood of this martyr is the complete destruction of America in the region,” General Hajizadeh added.
The senior military commander’s remarks came as millions of Iranians had unprecedentedly gathered in Tehran to commemorate their General who was assassinated by US terrorist forces in Iraq on Friday morning.
According to Fars News Agency, Iran has vowed ‘hard revenge’ in ‘due time and right place’ over Washington’s act of terror.
In relevant remarks earlier on Monday, new Commander of the IRGC Qods Force Brigadier General Esmayeel Qaani underlined that the US should wait for Tehran's reprisal after assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
“The revenge for Soleimani’s martyrdom is a promise given by God, as the God is the main avenger,” Brigadier General Qaani said, addressing the funeral procession of late General Soleimani.
Brigadier General Qaani said that “we promise to continue Martyr Soleimani’s path with the same strength and his martyrdom will be reciprocated in several steps by removing the US from the region”.
He underlined that the continuance of this movement is to reach the global governance of Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Reappearance).