TEHRAN, April 8 (UPI) -- No U.S. soldiers in the region would live to tell about a U.S. military attack on Iranian soil, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces said Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, the armed forces chief of staff, was quoted in the semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying Thursday that U.S. soldiers would not survive an attack on Iran.
"If the U.S. seriously threatens Iran and takes an action against Iran, none of the U.S. soldiers in the region will return to America alive," he said.
Washington is ramping up the pressure on Iran as it moves forward with a controversial nuclear program. Beyond economic sanctions, Washington, along with its allies in Israel, maintain that all options remain on the table when dealing with Iran.
Firouzabadi said if Washington took military action against Iran, the military in the Islamic republic would respond with exponential force.
"If the U.S. seriously threatens Iran and takes an action against Iran, the threats against it will become a thousand times more, its economic problems will increase and it will lose more markets," he said.
U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev during the signing of a nuclear disarmament treaty Thursday in the Czech Republic called on Iran to scale back its nuclear ambitions or face "strong" and "smart" economic sanctions.
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, for his part, made similar threats Wednesday to Israel, saying there would be "nothing" left of Israel if it launched an attack on Iran.
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