Alwaght- A top Iranian commander has warned the US against the “big risk” of imposing terrorism-related sanctions on the country’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said Monday that, “Putting IRGC together with terrorist groups and imposing the same sanctions (used against terrorists) on IRGC would be a big risk to the US and its bases and forces stationed in the region.”
Speaking at a gathering of IRGC Ground Force commanders, held in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the top commander condemned the “wrong US calculation” of seeking to apply terrorism-related sanctions against IRGC.
Iranian nation always opposes US hegemonic system
Major General Baqeri said the Iranian nation has always stood up against the world hegemonic system, especially the US, and has boosted its capabilities, stressing that any fresh sanction would again become an opportunity for Iran’s progress.
He further advised the US Congress to exercise more “caution” and “think deeper” about the decisions on new anti-Iran sanctions, stressing, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile power is defensive and never would be subject to bargaining and negotiation at any level.”
Last month, US senators passed a bill of sanctions that target Iranian individuals and entities after they urged the State Department to designate IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
The bipartisan US Senate vote, which is now to go to the House, is demanding major action from the Trump administration against the IRGC, a pillar of defense in the Islamic Republic.
Elsewhere in his comments, the senior general hit back at US officials for their brazen interference in Iran’s internal affairs and for calling for a regime change in the country, urging them to speak in a more careful and mature manner about Iran.
Last week, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis accused Tehran of sponsoring terrorism and called for regime change in Iran in an interview with the newspaper of a local American high school.
New threats call for more vigilance
Major General Baqeri said Iran, which has weathered "about four decades of conspiracies and threats as well as an intensified investment by the regional extras of America and the Zionist regime," is facing new threats.
"The emergence of new security threats, which with the design and endeavors of the arrogant powers and reactionary regimes of the region and the negligence of some neighbors has targeted the Islamic Republic with the aim of moving the threats inside Iran, calls for more vigilance and readiness in order to counteract and neutralize them," he added.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces was apparently referencing to Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman's vague remarks in April that Riyadh would work to move “the battle” to Iran.
The Iranian official touched on the ongoing conflicts in the region, saying they were the result of "interference by arrogant powers, Zionist plots and the stupidity and treachery of some unpopular and oppressive regimes of the region."
Iraq’s Kurdistan referendum unacceptable to neighbors
The top Iranian commander further said a planned referendum by Iraq's Kurdish leaders on secession from the Arab country could lead to new challenges and problems in the region.
In April, representatives of the two main Kurdish parties of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) discussed the issue of a referendum and decided to hold the vote this year.
"That just after the defeat of ISIS and Takfiri terrorists following three years of war and displacement of the Iraqi people ... there is this talk of a referendum in the Iraqi Kurdistan and the separation of a part of Iraq does not seem to be normal," Baqeri said.
"This is by no means acceptable to Iraq's neighbors," he said. "Preserving the independence and integrity of Iraq is in the interest of all the tribes, religions and different parts of the region," he added.
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces also said the region cannot bear another war, warning that a new conflict would definitely pave the way for "ill-wishers and aggressors" to establish a foothold in the region.