Leading general in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards lashed out at the US on Saturday, warning that it would be unable to make good on what he said were American threats against the Islamic republic.
“The US statesmen should be very wise and avoid threatening Iran, because the entire world has admitted this fact that the Americans cannot do such a thing,” said Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, the chief of the IRGC’s ground forces, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
“Hence, they are unlikely to do such a move because it is unwise,” he added.
The IRGC’s deputy commander for political affairs, Rasul Sanayee Rad, made similar comments on Iranian state TV on Friday, declaring that, “today we are enjoying deterrence, meaning that we have dissuaded the enemy from attack.”
The comments are not unusual for Iranian military chiefs, who routinely deride the US’s military capabilities, but were made in this case in apparent response to a number of hawkish statements recently made by American officials towards Iran, including remarks by US President Donald Trump.
……Talking about weapons …. “dangerous”…..Iran designed and developed its own version of the S-300 missile shield after the Russians shrugged off delivery of their advanced missile defense system to Iran on the pretext of the UN Security Council sanctions.
The Iranian version has superior features over the original Russian model as it enjoys increased mobility, agility and reduced launch-preparation time.
Iranian commanders had earlier said that Bavar 373, that similar to its original Russian model traces and intercepts high-altitude targets, would come into operation this Iranian year (that started on March 21, 2015).
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin removed the ban on the delivery of the missile shield to Iran.
Following the announcement, Brigadier General Dehqan said “the decree came as an interpretation of the will of the two countries’ political leaders to develop and promote cooperation in all fields”.
Putin’s decision was announced hours after relevant reports said the Kremlin also plans to supply China with the advanced S-400 air defense system.
In early April, Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan underlined the country’s air defense capabilities, and said the indigenously-made Bavar 373 air missile shield enjoys the same features of its Russian peer, the S-300.
Speaking on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the ground force’s achievements, Pourdastan said that supplying Iran with the Russian S-300 missiles will boost the country’s air defense power and it can hit the targets at higher altitudes.
“But of course, Iran’s Air Defense Base has carried out great task in recent years, including the designing and manufacturing of Bavar 373 air defense missile system, which has the same capabilities as the Russian S-300,” the Iranian commander further stressed.
He further said that the missile system, dubbed as Bavar 373, is even more powerful and more advanced than the Russian S-300.
“Bavar 373 system is an important and completely indigenous achievement that can be a powerful rival for S-300,” the commander reiterated.
Following an Iranian test of a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead in January, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a number of entities involved in Iran’s missile program, with the president warning Iran that it had been “put on notice” and vowing that “nothing is off the table” in terms of a military response to perceived Iranian provocations.
Although the missile test did not violate the 2015 nuclear accord, the US government said such tests are forbidden under a separate UN resolution forbidding Iran from developing nuclear-capable missiles.
Pakpour also said Saturday that the Revolutionary Guards would conduct military drills next week, despite warnings from the US and the sanctions over the previous missile test.
“The maneuvers called ‘Grand Prophet 11’ will start Monday and last three days,” Pakpour told a news conference. He said rockets would be used without specifying which kind.
There has been an increase in tensions between Iran and the US since Trump’s inauguration in January, with the president repeating his criticism of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers under former president Barack Obama.
During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to rip up what he termed the “disastrous” nuclear accord with Iran. Since becoming president, he has seemingly walked back his pledge to dismantle the agreement, although he has continued to call it “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.”
US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday continued with the administration’s hard line against Iran, telling an international security conference in Munich that Tehran was “the leading state sponsor of terrorism.” He also accused the Iranian regime of working to destabilize the entire Middle East, in part due to the terms of the nuclear deal.
“Thanks to the end of nuclear-related sanctions under the [deal], Iran now has additional resources to devote to these efforts,” Pence said.
“Let me be clear again: Under President Trump the United States will remain fully committed to ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon capable of threatening our countries, our allies in the region, especially Israel,” Pence said.
Earlier this week, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the US of seeking to ratchet up tensions with Iran over its nuclear program in order to distract from what he called the “war of economy” against the Islamic Republic.
“The US wants to divert the Iranian officials’ attention from the real battlefield, that is the war of economy, by repeating the trick of military threat and war; officials should keep vigilant,” Khamenei said Wednesday, according to Fars.