Iran has been considering 13 “revenge scenarios” in retaliation for a US strike that killed a top Iranian commander in Iraq, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said on Tuesday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
“The Americans should know that until now 13 revenge scenarios have been discussed in the council and even if there is consensus on the weakest scenario carrying it out can be a historic nightmare for the Americans,” Ali Shamkhani said.
In Washington, the US defence secretary denied reports the US military was preparing to withdraw from Iraq, where Tehran has vied with Washington for influence over nearly two decades of war and unrest.
The killing of General Qassem Soleimani, who was responsible for building up Tehran’s network of proxy forces across the Middle East, has prompted mass mourning in Iran.
US and Iranian warnings of new strikes and retaliation have also stoked concerns about a broader Middle East conflict and led to calls in the US Congress for legislation to stop US President Donald Trump going to war with Iran.
“We will take revenge, a hard and definitive revenge,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Hossein Salami, told tens of thousands of mourners in Soleimani’s hometown of Kerman.
Many chanted “Death to America” and waved the Iranian flag.
Soleimani’s body has been taken through Iraqi and Iranian cities since Friday’s strike, with huge crowds of mourners filling the streets.
At least 35 people were killed and 48 others have been injured in the stampede at the commander’s funeral.