Iranian military leaders on Friday said the country had drafted plans to strike "400 American targets" in response to further military action by the United States.
After Iran launched missiles at Iraq's Ain al-Asad base in January, where more than 1,000 U.S. and coalition soldiers are stationed, it anticipated retaliatory attacks by the Trump administration, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, told the country's state-controlled press.
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"The day we attacked on Ain al-Asad, we thought the U.S. forces would respond after 20 minutes, so we were ready to attack 400 American targets," Hajizadeh disclosed, though he did not provide detailed information about the sites in question.
"Our plan was to attack 400 U.S. targets if they responded," he said.
The revelation of Iran's plans to retaliate against U.S. military action comes as Iran continues to expand its military, this week launching a space satellite that U.S. officials say is a cover for nuclear weapons advancement.
Iran's attack on U.S. forces in Iraq came in reaction to the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani. Iranian-backed terror forces in Iraq have continued their assaults on U.S. positions in the ensuing months. While tensions have decreased since that time, President Donald Trump vowed this week to destroy any Iranian vessel that harasses American ships traveling in the Persian Gulf region.
Iran's military expansion continues to pose great risk to the United States, according to Trump administration officials, who told the Washington Free Beacon earlier this week that Tehran's recent launch of a military satellite is likely a cover for expanded ballistic missile work, weapons that are typically used to carry nuclear payloads.
"Iran's space program is clearly a cover for its intercontinental ballistic missile aspirations," Brian Hook, the administration's special representative for Iran, told the Free Beacon this week. "Any claims that Iran's space program is peaceful are pure propaganda."
Iran's ballistic missile work is a top concern for the Trump administration as it works to extend an international ban on such efforts. Later this year, Iran will be permitted to purchase missile technology if the United Nations does not renew a ban on its program.
While the United States opposes the lifting of this ban—which is set to expire under the terms of the landmark nuclear deal—countries such as Russia and China could veto these efforts, setting up a showdown in the coming months.