Just a few hours before the anniversary of the death of General Qassem Soleimani, tension between Iran and the United States has reached its highest point. Both countries have been issuing warnings to each other in recent months.
This time the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Esmail Ghaani, has once again threatened US officials with revenge for the murder of his predecessor Qasem Soleimani, saying that the response could come "from inside his house".
In a speech delivered on Friday 1 January at a ceremony to commemorate the first anniversary of Soleimani's death, Ghaani said that "everywhere in the world you could find a man" who is willing to "punish those responsible".
For his part, the head of the judiciary in Iran, Ibrahim Raisi, has warned of the reprisals against Soleimani's killers, saying, "They will not be safe anywhere in the world," adding, "Even Trump himself cannot escape punishment". The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said in a statement to the Fars news agency on Friday that Tehran would respond with all its strength to anyone who crosses its "red lines", adding that his country is capable of responding to any US attack and is ready for any scenario.
Iran has repeatedly promised to take revenge on the specific people responsible for making the decision and carrying it out. This would include President Donald Trump, who took responsibility for making the decision, and other senior US officials.
Ghaani, during his speech, said: "You need to know that even from your home there may be people willing to respond to this crime". The threat is a direct reference to possible acts of terrorism on US soil.
The United States has responded to these threats in many ways. The US has sent a guided missile submarine to the Persian Gulf and has also flown heavy B-52 bombers over the region as a warning to Iran not to carry out any act of revenge during the anniversary of Soleimani's death. However, on Thursday Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, repeated the threat of revenge, and the Iranian media presented him as a hero of Iran and the Islamic world.
The American political summit also wanted to make a statement on the threats made by Iran. The Republican Senator and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, wished to warn the Islamic Republic of miscalculations and promised a strong and brutal response to any movement or provocation. In his Twitter account he wrote: "I tell the Iranians, they should not think for a moment that US domestic policy has distracted us from monitoring all their movements".
The threats are multiple and increasingly constant between these two actors. Trump's departure from the White House on 20 January suggests that an attack would be rather imminent. In the coming days we will see whether these warnings will materialise in real reprisals.