"They keep sending messages that if we give up on avenging General Soleimani, they will give us some concessions or lift some sanctions," Alireza Tangsiri, a commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Thursday, in remarks carried by Tasnim News Agency.
"This is wishful thinking. The Leader has emphasized the need for revenge… and the IRGC’s chief commander has said that revenge is inevitable and that we will choose the time and place for it," Tangsiri added.
He stressed that all those involved in Soleimani’s assassination “will be brought to justice,” quoting Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei: “God willing, they will surely be punished for their filthy act in this world.”
General Soleimani was the head of the IRGC’s Quds Force when he was targeted in US drone strike near Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.
Five days later, the IRGC fired a barrage of ballistic missile at US forces based in Iraq, which caused brain injuries to scores of American forces.
Ayatollah Khamenei described the strike “only a slap” in the face of Americans while insisting that real revenge was to come later, which will be determined by Iran.
Tangsiri’s remarks came days after Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh asserted that "perpetrators, officials, accomplices and advisers" in the dastardly act "will not go unpunished", insisting that "these people must be brought to justice", according to Press TV.
Over the last year, Iran and the United States, along with Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China, have engaged in indirect talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, that former American president Donald Trump unilaterally reneged on in 2018.
While they appeared close to resurrecting the deal in March, talks stalled as Iran’s key demands, including the removal of the IRGC from the US list of “terrorists” remained unattended.
Asked about the comments, a State Department spokesperson said if Iran wanted sanctions relief “beyond” the 2015 nuclear deal, it “needs to address US concerns beyond” the pact, Reuters reported.
"If Iran wants sanctions lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they will need to address concerns of ours beyond the JCPOA," the US spokesperson said.
Addressing the weekly conference on Monday, Khatibzadeh said that no agreement will be reached in Vienna until there is total consensus on key issues of contention, blaming the US for pursuing “a policy of procrastination”.
“We will not agree on anything until we agree on the generalities,” he said, noting that certain issues remain unresolved and that the JCPOA will not see any changes under a revival agreement.
The US, under President Joe Biden, which had vowed to reverse the radical measures taken by the former administration, has been following in Trump’s policy, refusing to lift sanctions.
Tehran maintains that the Trump-era policy has failed miserably. The Biden administration agrees, yet it has not taken any tangible steps to deliver on its promise of ending the policy.