Iran Commander: Forces Were Ready to Hit 400 US Targets in January

General says Iran was ready for bigger escalation

Early January was just the first of several almost-wars between the US and Iran in 2020, with escalating tensions that time starting with the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani and resulting in Iran hitting a base in Iraq where US troops were stationed.

At the time, the two nations decided against further escalation. But while President Trump said there were 52 Iranian sites in mind, apparently including “cultural sites,” Iranian Gen. Amir Hajizadeh says that Iran had as many as 400 US targets in mind if it came to that.

Gen. Hajizadeh did not elaborate beyond that, though such targets were presumably US-linked sites in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Decades of US buildup in the region has no doubt created a lot of sites for opportunistic attacks.

Why the general is revealing this now isn’t entirely clear, though the US and Iran keep having escalations that could lead to similar exchanges, and this may be his way of emphasizing that Iran has some retaliatory capabilities should war erupt.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.