Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami highlighted Iran’s military might to counter foreign threats and said although the country does not want conflicts, it is not afraid of war.
Iran’s power is so great that all countries know regional problems cannot be resolved without the Islamic Republic, Major General Salami said, addressing a conference in the southwestern city of Ahvaz on Thursday.
He further pointed to the US hostilities toward the Iranian nation and said, “They have besieged us with economic, industrial, and scientific sanctions to keep us dependent but our nation has resisted with divine guidance…”
“Iran is on the right track and a testimony to our power is that the US blames Iran wherever it faces defeat…,” the IRGC commander said, referring to the US officials’ recent claims that Iran has encouraged the ongoing protests in Iraq decrying US air strikes against Popular Mobilization Units (also known as Hashd al-Sha’abi).
“We do not interfere in countries’ internal affairs,” he said, adding, “This hatred against the US is pervasive all over the world.”
“We do not lead the country to war, but we are not afraid of any war, and we are telling America to use a proper language in the face of the Iranian nation,” Major General Salami went on to say.
US officials, including President Donald Trump, are trying to accuse Iran of encouraging the protests underway in Iraq decrying US air strikes against Hashd al-Sha’abi.
On Sunday, US forces conducted drone strikes on a number of Kata’ib Hezbollah bases in Iraq’s western Anbar province, killing at least 28 individuals and leaving another 51 injured.
Kata’ib Hezbollah is part of Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Following the strikes, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that it had targeted three locations of the Iraqi fighters in Iraq and two in Syria in response to alleged attacks targeting American forces.
Angered by the US air raids, Iraqi protesters stormed its embassy compound in the high-security Green Zone in Baghdad on Tuesday, setting fires and chanting: “Death to America!”
They also demanded the removal of American troops from Iraq.
Reacting to the attack, Trump on Tuesday held Iran “fully responsible” for the incident on Twitter and added that the protesters “will be held fully responsible.”
In a separate statement, Trump later also threatened that Tehran would “pay a very big price” after the attack.
On Wednesday, Iran summoned the Swiss charge d’affaires, whose country represents US interests in Iran, to protest “warmongering” remarks by American officials.