Iranian commander threatens dozens of targets 'within our reach'

A senior Iranian commander said late Friday that several dozen U.S. targets across the Middle East could be threatened in response to the U.S. killing Iran's top military general this week.

"The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West and a large number of American destroyers and warships cross there," Gen. Gholamali Abuhamzeh, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the southern province of Kerman, told the Tasnim news agency, according to Reuters.

"Vital American targets in the region have been identified by Iran since long time ago ... some 35 U.S. targets in the region as well as Tel Aviv are within our reach," he added.


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed a "harsh retaliation" over the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Thursday. The drone strike killing Soleimani and others has led to a dramatic spike in tensions between Washington and Tehran.

The Trump administration has asserted that Soleimani, a powerful Iranian military figure who led the country's elite Quds Force and was believed to be in charge of Tehran's proxy forces in the Middle East, was involved in preparations for an "imminent" attack that threatened Americans.

Both President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDonald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim US defense chief says Taliban deal 'looks very promising' but not without risk Kobach says he discussed his Senate bid with Trump MORE have maintained that the strike was not meant as an escalation of conflict with Tehran, with Trump saying on Friday afternoon during an event in Miami that the Iranian commander was killed to "stop a war."

Thousands of people packed the streets of Baghdad to mourn Soleimani's death on Saturday, while The Associated Press reported that a series of missiles fell in or around the city's Green Zone, which is home to government buildings and embassies including that of the United States.