KEY POINTS

  • Trump's vast property holdings outside the U.S. are a lucrative target for Iran's promised revenge attacks
  • Attacking Trump's wealth outside the U.S. will negate any immediate retaliation from the U.S. military
  • Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehghan said they will directly attack U.S. “military sites”

Iran's promise to retaliate against president Donald Trump for ordering the assassination of its war hero, major general Qasem Soleimani, now appears to be focused on only two specific targets: the U.S. military, whose aerial drone killed Soleimani on January 3, and Trump.

On the Trump revenge angle, some pundits argue the easiest targets Iran can hit, and without the risk of running afoul of the U.S. military, are Trump's hotels and resorts outside the United States. These properties are "soft" and worthwhile targets in countries with varying degrees of anti-terrorism security. Some Iranian officials have said the American people aren't Iran's enemy, which may hint Iran's future attacks will spare America's civilian population.

The Trump Organization owns properties in 11 countries outside the U.S.: Canada, Dubai, India, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines, Scotland, South Korea, St. Martin, Turkey and Uruguay.

There have been reports Iran is tracking Trump's properties outside the U.S., according to Yahoo's Rick Newman. Hesameddin Ashna, an advisor to president Hassan Rouhani and head of Iran's Center for Strategic Studies, posted a tweet (without comment) linking to a Forbes web page listing 19 Trump properties inside and outside the U.S.

"We have ZERO problems with the American people," tweeted Ashna. "We even achieved deals with previous U.S. administrations. Our sole problem is Trump. In the event of war, it is he who will bear full responsibility."

As for the military revenge angle, General Esmail Qaani, Soleimani's replacement as commander of the Quds Force, vowed to avenge Soleimani's death and expel the U.S. from the Middle East in "stages."

"God the almighty has promised to get his revenge … certainly actions will be taken," said Gen. Qaani Monday. "We promise to continue down martyr Soleimani's path as firmly as before with help of God, and in return for his martyrdom we aim to get rid of America from the region."

Maj. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, military adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran won't use Iran-backed militias for the attack on America, but will directly attack U.S. “military sites.”

“It might be argued that there could be proxy operations," Dehghan told CNN. "We can say America, Mr. Trump, has taken action directly against us -- so we take direct action against America. Our reaction will be wise, well considered and in time, with decisive deterrent effect.”

Dehghan asserted America “started the war,” and pointed out the only thing that can end this period of war "is for the Americans to receive a blow that is equal to the blow they have inflicted. Afterward they should not seek a new cycle.”

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the U.S. Army will "pay the price" for killing Soleimani and  Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). Six other men were killed in the U.S. aerial drone strike on the early morning of January 3.

"The American army killed them and it will pay the price," said Nasrallah in a televised speech. "The only just punishment is (to target) American military presence in the region: U.S. military bases, U.S. warships, each and every officer and soldier in the region."

General Qasem Soleimani was widely popular, famed for suddenly popping up in Middle East conflict zones and credited within Iran with helping defeat Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq General Qasem Soleimani was widely popular, famed for suddenly popping up in Middle East conflict zones and credited within Iran with helping defeat Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq Photo: AFP / ATTA KENARE