White House national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanPardoning South Korea’s former president puts the US in a delicate position Iran nuclear talks to restart next week Overnight Defense & National Security — Biden mobilizes military help amid virus surge MORE on Sunday warned Iran that it would face “serious consequences” if any U.S. citizens are attacked after Iranian officials sanctioned multiple Americans.
“Yesterday, Iran purported to impose sanctions on 52 Americans. They do so as Iran’s proxy militias continue to attack American troops in the Middle East, and as Iranian officials threaten to carry out terror operations inside the United States and elsewhere around the world,” Sullivan said in a statement.
“Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens. This includes those serving the United States now and those who formerly served,” he added.
On Saturday, Iran sanctioned more than 50 Americans for the 2020 killing of General Qassem Soleimani.
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the sanctioned Americans were targeted due to “their role in the terrorist crime by the United States against the martyred General Qassem Soleimani and his companions and the promotion of terrorism and violations of fundamental human rights.”
The sanctions will allow Iran to seize any assets that these Americans have in Iran, though Reuters noted this move may be largely symbolic .
Among those who were sanctioned by Iran include the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyCheney confirms she told Jim Jordan on Jan. 6 ‘Get away from me. You f—ing did this’ The top political books of 2021 The lessons of China’s WTO accession, 20 years later MORE, and former national security adviser Robert O’BrienRobert O’BrienWatchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Trump’s last national security adviser endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race MORE.
The 2020 killing of Soleimani was ordered under the Trump administration. Last week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for former President TrumpDonald TrumpFox News tops ratings for coverage on Jan. 6 anniversary events Sunday shows preview: Congress marks Jan. 6 anniversary; US, Russia to hold talks amid rising tensions Democrats must close the perception gap MORE to face trial over Soleimani’s death or Tehran would retaliate.
“We have our disagreements on Iran policy,” Sullivan said on Sunday. “But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations. We are united in the defense of our people.”
“We will work with our allies and partners to deter and respond to any attacks carried out by Iran. Should Iran attack any of our nationals, including any of the 52 people named yesterday, it will face severe consequences,” said Sullivan.