United States lawmakers warned Iran on Sunday that they could hand out "severe consequences" if any American citizens were attacked following Iran's sanctioning of more than 50 U.S. officials in the alleged "revenge" for the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in 2020.

In a statement released on Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that the United States of America will continue to protect and defend its citizens. The official said that the U.S. federal government will continue to work with its allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran.

Iran Against the United States

Sullivan said that in the event that Iran chooses to attack any of the United States' nationals, including the 52 people named in the sanctions, the nation will face severe consequences. The American official's statement comes after Iran sanctioned more than 50 U.S. nationals on Saturday following the second anniversary of Soleimani's death.

In a statement, Iran's foreign ministry said that dozens of new sanctions were imposed on individuals for "their role in the terrorist crime by the United States against the martyred General Qasem Soleimani and his companions and the promotion of terrorism and violations of fundamental human rights," Newsweek reported.

It was discovered that many of the American nationals in the list of individuals sanctioned by Iran were from the U.S. military. The individuals include Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley and former White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien. Tehran is able to confiscate assets owned by the American's in Iran due to the sanctions. However, since the affected individuals did not have such assets, the move was largely a symbolic decision.

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Soleimani was the head of Iran's Quds Force, the overseas arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. (IRGC) He was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in January 2020 that was ordered by then-President Donald Trump.

Sanctions Against U.S. Nationals

Last year, Iran imposed sanctions on the former president himself and other senior former U.S. officials over the killing of Soleimani. On Wednesday, authorities said that they planned to prosecute 127 people for their alleged involvement or cooperation with the assassination of the former military official, the Times of Israel reported.

This week, Iran conducted a ceremony that marked the anniversary of Soleimani's death where President Ebrahim Raisi said that Trump, Pompeo, and several others must be tried in a "fair court." He warned that, otherwise, Iran and its allies in what they called the "resistance axis" that Soleimani championed would seek revenge against the United States.

Additionally, Iranian officials also called on the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council to take formal action against the U.S. and Israel. They argued that the latter provided assistance to America during the assassination.

On Friday, the IRGC Friday exhibited an array of its locally developed missiles that it said were used during the 2020 attack against two U.S. bases in Iraq. The move was made in retaliation for the former general's assassination, Aljazeera reported.


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