Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiReuters

The chief of the Iranian military warned that his country was “more prepared now than ever” for hostilities, defying the United States after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration would impose “strongest sanctions in history” on the Tehran regime.

On Monday, Pompeo unveiled the administration’s plans for new sanctions on the rogue state, warning Iran that it would be forced to either “fight to keep its economy off life support at home, or keep squandering precious wealth in fights abroad. It will not have the resources to do both.”

Pompeo said the US would maintain the new, expanded sanctions until Tehran accepts the administration’s demands, including “unqualified access” to all suspected nuclear sites in Iran, closure of Iran’s heavy water reactor, and an end to funding for Middle East terror groups like Hezbollah.

A day later, a senior Iranian military commander threatened Pompeo, saying Iran would “deliver a strong punch to the mouth” of the US Secretary of State.

On Wednesday, Major General of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Chief of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Bagheri issued a response to Pompeo’s announcement, declaring that Iran would not “wait for the permission” of foreign powers to develop “defense capabilities” and warned that his country’s military was “more prepared than ever” for a conflict.

“Iranian armed forces are now, thanks to God, more prepared than ever and will not wait for the permission or approval of any power to develop defense capabilities,” Bagheri said, according to Iran’s IRNA media outlet.