Brian Hook
Brian HookMatty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Brian Hook, the US special representative for Iran, on Thursday issued a warning to Esmail Ghaani, the successor to Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a US drone strike earlier this month.

Speaking to the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Hook warned that Ghaani would suffer the same fate as Soleimani if he followed a similar path by killing Americans.

“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” said Hook, who added that Trump had long made it clear “that any attack on Americans or American interests would be met with a decisive response.”

“This isn’t a new threat. The president has always said that he will always respond decisively to protect American interests,” Hook told the newspaper. “I think the Iranian regime understands now that they cannot attack America and get away with it.”

Ghaani was named the replacement for Soleimani as the Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps hours after his death and wasted no time in issuing a warning to the US.

"Everyone should be patient a little to see the bodies of American soldiers all over the Middle East," he said.

Iran launched a missile attack against Iraqi bases hosting US troops on January 8, in what was said to be revenge for the death of Soleimani.

Responding on Thursday to Hook’s comments, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that the US threat to kill Ghaani is a sign of “governmental terrorism”.

“These words are an official announcement and a clear unveiling of America’s targeted and governmental terrorism,” Mousavi said, according to Reuters.

He called on the international community to condemn Hook’s comments.