Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Members of Iran's Revolutionary GuardsReuters

A senior Iranian military commander on Tuesday threatened that Iranians would punch U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the mouth, a day after the top American diplomat announced that Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American Secretary of State and anyone who backs them,” Ismail Kowsari, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran said, as quoted by Reuters.

Limiting Iran’s missile capabilities was one of Pompeo’s main demands to which Kowsari said, “Who are you and America to tell us to limit the range of ballistic missiles? History has shown that with the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America is the top criminal with regard to missiles.”

Qassem Soleimani, the head of the branch of the Revolutionary Guards that carries out operations outside Iran’s borders, was singled out by Pompeo as a top troublemaker in the Middle East.

Kowsari said that the Iranian people back Soleimani.

“Soleimani is not a single person. The great people of Iran support him,” he declared, according to Reuters.

In his remarks on Monday, Pompeo outlined 12 requirements for Iran, including total access throughout the country for the International Atomic Energy Agency, the release of all Americans held in Iran, an end to funding groups labeled as terrorist organizations by the U.S. and the cessation of other destabilizing activities in the region.

A senior official in Iran later responded to Pompeo's speech, saying, "The conditions of the United States are meaningless. Iran has no need for anyone's permission to act in the Middle East. Our missile programs will be determined according to Iranian needs.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ripped the United States following Pompeo’s speech and described its foreign diplomacy as a “sham”.

“U.S. diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies—dictated by corrupt Special Interest—it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-U.S. JCPOA solutions,” tweeted Zarif.

On Tuesday, Pompeo said that the demands he made of Iran are not that difficult to implement.

“The benchmark I set forward yesterday is a very low standard. It’s the standard behavior we expect from countries all around the world,” he said, adding the U.S. expects Iran “to behave the way normal, non-belligerent nations behave.”