President Trump issued a stern warning to Iran on Saturday through a series of Twitter messages intended to deter the country from retaliating after the U.S.-ordered airstrike that killed Iran's Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.
"Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters," Trump tweeted.
The president continued: "He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years."
Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike Friday in Baghdad that was ordered by President Trump.
"Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD," Trump wrote Saturday, explicitly laying out that the U.S. will act if Iran retaliates.
Following Soleimani's death, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "harsh retaliation is waiting for the criminals whose filthy hands spilled his blood."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to "take revenge for this heinous crime."
The Iran-backed militias that spawned in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), have been quick to threaten revenge on U.S. personnel and interests. Killed alongside Soleimani at the airport in Baghdad was his close confidante Abu Mahdi al-Mohandas, the deputy head of the PMF.
Trump has made it clear that he expects the Iranians to stop threatening the United States.
"The USA wants no more threats!" Trump had tweeted.
Fox News' Danielle Wallace and Hollie McKay contributed to this report.