After launching ballistic missiles targeting Iraqi bases hosting American troops, the Iranian government says it does not want an "escalation of war," but has promised a "crushing and widespread" response if the U.S. retaliates.
Early Wednesday morning, Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at bases in western and northern Iraq. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said this was "revenge" for President Trump authorizing an airstrike last week that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Ali Arouzi, Tehran bureau chief for NBC News, tweeted that Iran has said "if there is no retaliation from America for these latest attacks then they will stop attacking. But if America attacks, then their response will be crushing and widespread." This would include launching more missiles meant to "destroy Dubai and Haifa" in Israel.
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On Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Tuesday's strikes were launched in self-defense, due to the "cowardly armed attack" against Soleimani, adding, "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."
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