TEHRAN, Iran — The head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards dismissed the possibility of U.S. military action against Iran and warned that his forces would respond with an "even more decisive" strike if attacked, an Iranian news agency reported Friday.

The comments by Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari came after the United States announced sweeping new sanctions against Iran, focusing on the Revolutionary Guards, a force that is tasked with protecting Iran's Islamic government and reports to the country's supreme leader.

Asked about the possibility of an American strike on Iran, Jaafari told reporters late Thursday that, "These words are just exaggerations, and I don't consider them a threat," the news agency ISNA reported.

"The Islamic Republic has the strength and power of its people's faith. This power is joined with experience, knowledge and technology in the realms of defense. The enemy knows it cannot make any mistake, so these words are just exaggeration," he said. "We will reply to any strike with an even more decisive strike."