IRGC Chief Says ‘Eternal Fear’ Keeps Iran’s Enemies From Attacking Islamic Republic
© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiIn this Nov. 2, 2019 file photo, Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks in a ceremony to unveil new anti-U.S. murals painted on the walls of former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran. The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the U.S. continues to threaten top Iranian generals. “I warn them to withdraw from this field,” Gen. Hossein Salami told state television, adding if they do not, they “will definitely regret it.”
© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
Earlier this month, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a missile attack against what they called “Israeli strategic centers” in the Iraqi city of Erbil, reportedly in revenge for an attack on a drone facility in the Iranian city of Kermanshah by the Israeli Mossad weeks prior.
Speaking to reporters in the southwestern city of Khorramshahr on Monday, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the IRGC, said Iran had not been attacked by its enemies owing to their “eternal fear” of an Iranian response.
“Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s pillar of power is firm and strong, and Iran is shining in the world,” he said, according to Tasnim News Agency.
His words came amid a visit to the region by the Rahian-e Noor (“passengers of light”), who make a pilgrimage to historic battlefields around the time of Nowruz, or the Iranian new year. Much of the Iran-Iraq War was fought in the surrounding Khuzestan province, which Iraq invaded in 1980 in an attempt to seize the oil-rich region with a large ethnic Arab population. However, the invasion didn’t go as planned and more than 1 million people were killed on both sides by the time the United Nations brokered a ceasefire eight years later.
Earlier this month, the IRGC launched a dozen missiles at the Iraqi city of Erbil, capital of the northern Kurdistan region, claiming to be targeting a Mossad facility there, reportedly in retaliation for a suicide drone strike against an Iranian drone facility in Kermanshah in February. Israel has denied having a facility there and Kurdistan government officials said the missiles fell in residential areas.
Afterward, Salami said that any future attacks against Iran would be met with an immediate response.
"Be aware that we will not only take part in the funeral of our martyrs, but also immediately take their revenge. This is a real and serious message. If your mischief is repeated, you will once again experience our attacks and suffer the bitter taste of our missile blows," Salami said at the time.
"In recent weeks you have seen how Zionists are always wrong in their calculations and have been targeted by Revolutionary Guard missiles. We are warning them that they should cease their mischief or we will bury them alive," Salami added.
While negotiations to restart the 2015 nuclear deal are within a hair’s breadth of completion in Vienna, the Israeli government has never supported the deal and has carried out its own espionage campaign in Iran against the country’s nuclear program. That has included sabotage operations and political assassinations like the broad-daylight killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist, in November 2020.
The deal would see US sanctions against Iran dropped in exchange for Iran accepting strict limitations on the quality and quantity of uranium it can refine, sufficient to limit them to operating a handful of low-enrichment uranium-fueled nuclear power plants. The deal is supposed to curtail Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, but Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that the country has forsworn all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.