Iran's Revolutionary Guard chief threatens the US and brags about making region more insecure
Qassem Soleimani to Donald Trump: 'We are a nation of martyrdom and we await you'
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard issued a threat to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, telling him: "We are a nation of martyrdom and we await you".
Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani issued the threat in a week marked by a war of words between the US and Iran.
"As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to Trump's threats... If he wants to use the language of threat...he should talk to me, not to the president," Soleimani was quoted as saying in the city of Hamedan.
He also said the Red Sea, a key trade route for oil, was no longer secure with America's presence in the region.
"The Red Sea which was secure is no longer secure with the American presence," the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds force said.
Earlier in the week, President Trump responded to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani's threat that "war with Iran is the mother of all wars".
Mr Trump told the Iranian president to "never, ever threaten the United States again", warning of unprecedented "consequences."
Later in the week, Mr Trump struck a more optimistic tone, claiming he could make a "real deal" with Iran.
“Iran is not the same country anymore, that I can say,” Mr Trump said while addressing the VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. “And we’ll see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration which was a disaster.”