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Trump: US Will Respond '1,000 Times Greater' to Any Iranian Attack

President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

JERUSALEM, Israel - President Donald Trump warned Iran on Monday the United States will respond "1000 times greater" to any attack following reports that the Islamic Republic is weighing assassinating a US diplomat in retaliation for the January killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

"According to press reports, Iran may be planning an assassination, or other attack, against the United States in retaliation for the killing of terrorist leader Soleimani," Trump tweeted. "Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!"

Politico reported on Sunday that the Iranian government is weighing assassinating US Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks. The news site cited a US government official familiar with the issue and another official who has seen the US intelligence. The US has known about the threat against Marks' life since the spring, but the threat has become more specific in recent weeks, the report said.

Marks has already been made aware of the threat against her, Politico reported.

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Marks has few, if any, known ties to Iran but officials believe she may have been selected because of her longtime friendship with Trump.

An intelligence source told Fox News the threat is being taken seriously and that Marks is among "several U.S. officials that American intelligence agencies believe Tehran is considering for retaliation for the killing of Soleimani."

Iran denies the reports.

Iran already retaliated for Soleimani's death when it fired several rounds of missiles at a US military base in Iraq in January. Dozens of troops at the base sustained brain injuries during the attack.

The US did not respond to the missile strikes but the assassination of an ambassador could push an already tense region to war.

Officials believe Iran is intent on getting further revenge for Soleimani's death. Soleimani was the leader of the elite Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the US designated a terror organization last year.

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