The commander of Iran’s Army says that the Islamic Republic has the power to defend itself and yet mount “destructive” counter-attacks if it ever comes under aggression, in what seems like an indirect warning against threats of military action by the United States.
Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said Sunday that Iran’s military prowess, while defensive in nature, provides for great attacking capabilities as well.
“We have never been the starter of any war but we don’t solely rely on defense either,” he told an event in the northwestern city of Tabriz, West Azarbaijan Province.
“We will defend when the enemy aggression begins but our attacking power and our ability to hit back will be destructive and make the enemy regret [its actions].”
The general noted that the current state of affairs in both the world and the Middle East region calls for higher military preparedness.
Iran is engaged in a heated standoff with the United States, which has sent troops and military equipment to the Persian Gulf region to confront what it calls “threats” coming from Iran.
US President Donald Trump and his aides, mainly National Security Adviser John Bolton and State Secretary Mike Pompeo, have repeatedly threatened Iran with military action, while defending America’s ongoing sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic.
Unfretted by the threats, Iran last month shot down an intruding US spy drone over its territorial waters in the Persain Gulf region, warning Washington against repeating such moves.
Trump said a day after the incident that he had to call off strikes on three targets Iran a few minutes before they began, arguing that he did so to prevent casualties.
He played down the incident, saying the he would have reacted differently had Tehran downed a manned aircraft.
Iran’s Army chief said Sunday that Tehran had already proven its ability to defend against aggressors in the 1980s war waged by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“Today, we are way more powerful in defending our values and our nation and never will we take a step back from protecting this country,” the general asserted.