A SPOKESMAN for Iran’s armed forces has threatened a ‘crushing response’ against any US aggression and allies who host American troops.
‘Any place and any point of any territories which host the US and its allies’ interests will be threatened (in case of any war) and the Islamic Republic has proved that it has the capability to do so,’ Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said during last Sunday’s interview with Iranian Fars News Agency.
‘Even if a country does not directly participate in any possible war but its territories host the enemy, we consider that country as a hostile territory and will treat it as an aggressor,’ he said during the interview. ‘If an aggressor makes a strategic mistake, that aggression will be confronted with the strongest and the most crushing response.’
Meanwhile, Iranian President President Hassan Rouhani announced Tuesday that Iran would move a step closer to enriching uranium by injecting gas into more than 1,000 centrifuges, according to the New York Times.
The comments from the Iranian commander came a day before the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. In 1979, Iranian militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and held 98 people captive for 444 days.
Thanks to an amendment included in the 1987 National Defence Authorisation Bill, SOCOM was formed nearly seven years after Eagle Claw on April 16, 1987.
The warning from Iran also comes following a recent US decision to bolster American troops and missile battery systems in Saudi Arabia.
In October, the Pentagon announced the deployment of two fighter squadrons, an air expeditionary wing, two Patriot batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system (THAAD) to Saudi territory.
The additional assets being deployed to Saudi Arabia increased the total of number of US forces in country to 3,000 following a mid-September attack on Saudi oil infrastructure.
The September 14th attack on two Saudi oil fields interrupted roughly six per cent of the world’s global supply. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both fingered Iran as being the culprit behind the attack.
A State Department brief obtained by Military Times detailed that a number of unmanned aerial vehicles and at least seven land attack cruise missiles were used in the attack.
Drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia underscore need for more robust air defences.
Since the outbreak of violence in Yemen in 2015, Iran-backed Houthi rebels have launched more than 250 missiles across the border killing at least 206 civilians and wounding nearly 950. Roughly 20,000 people have been displaced by the attacks.
Yemen-based and Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks. But experts are sceptical that the Quds-1 missile suspected in the attack had the range to reach the oil field if fired from Yemen.
Iran also fields the Soumar-1, an Iranian ground-launched cruise missile that has been in service since 2012, and boasts a range of 2,000km to 3,000km, according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies’ missile threat project.
Tensions between the US and Iran are high. The US has also blamed Iran for the June 13 attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
Officials with Operation Inherent Resolve — the US-led mission to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria — told the Military Times in June that there was an increase in the number of rocket and indirect fire attacks near US bases and interests in Iraq.
Analysts and experts believe Iran was behind the attacks using Shia militias and proxy forces across the region to mask culpability.
On Monday, Trump retweeted a video from Arab News showing Iraqi demonstrators storming the Iranian consulate in Karbala, Iraq. It is mostly young Iraqi demonstrators in the streets in October protesting corruption and lack of opportunities.
Israeli ministers have reportedly held several meetings to review the likely scenario of a potential war with Iran, with the participants speculating that the Islamic Republic could deal paralysing blows to the regime in the course of such a confrontation.
The meetings, two of which were held last week, discussed potential lead-ups and aftermath of a conflict, with Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the US, allegedly unveiling contents of the discussions in an opinion piece carried by The Atlantic on Monday.
Titled ‘The Coming Middle East Conflagration,’ the feature claimed the ministerial gatherings had concluded that ‘fighting could break out at any time’ by ‘a single spark’.
The Israeli ministers suspected that a conflict could come as a result of an ‘Israeli miscalculation’, such as erringly hitting ‘particularly sensitive targets’ in the countries where the Islamic Republic provides advisory support against terrorists such as Iraq and Syria.
‘The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defences and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon,’ Oren wrote. ‘And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,’ he went on.
The article said such a war triggered by Tel Aviv’s blunder could see as many as ‘4,000’ projectiles being rained down on Israel every day, with the regime’s so-called Iron Dome missile system liable to miss 10 per cent of them.
‘All of Israel, from Metulla in the north to the southern port city of Eilat, would be in range of enemy fire,’ the former official noted.
That threat, the piece added, is eclipsed by the one posed by Iran’s surgical and long-range missiles such as ‘the deadly Shahab-3’ — which would reach Israel ‘from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran itself’.
Those missiles, ‘a growing numbers of which are in Iranian arsenals, pose a far deadlier threat’, Oren cautioned, highlighting how the projectiles can switch flight routes airborne.
‘The David’s Sling system, developed in conjunction with the United States, can stop them – in theory, because it has never been tested in combat. And each of its interceptors costs $1 million. Even if it is not physically razed, Israel can be bled economically.’
- Iraqi security officials have ordered to lift the curfew in the capital Baghdad, despite ongoing demonstrations against political parties that control the government.
Commander of the Joint Operation Command in Baghdad, Major General Qais al-Mohammadawi, said late on Tuesday that restrictions had been completely lifted in Baghdad following days of protests which have left dozens of demonstrators dead.
Mohammadawi added that the decision was taken after cooperation between protesters and security forces.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said the protests exposed issues that have piled up following the US-led invasion of the Arab country back in 2003.
He said the government has asked security forces to discriminate between peaceful protesters and those seeking to wreak havoc.
Also on Tuesday, the Iraqi government on Tuesday issued a new package of measures to be undertaken in response to angry protests that have swept across the country.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has called for an end to street protests.
The Council of Ministers, chaired by Abdul Mahdi, decided among the measures to be undertaken by the state to grant Minister of Oil Thamir Ghadhban the authority to approve the recruitment of graduates of oil training institutes for the year 2018-2019.
The council also agreed to reduce customs duty on plastic granules in order to facilitate the implementation of industrial projects.
The Iraqi army says its forces will break up any gathering that will be held utside Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, as anti-government protests continue in the Arab country.
Protesters in Iraq have directed their rage at a class of elite leaders, whom they accuse of pillaging the oil-rich country’s wealth while the population grows poorer.
The protests, which began more than a month ago, have often turned violent, with Iraqi security forces opening fire and protesters torching government buildings.
The Iraqi president says Adel Abdul-Mahdi is willing to resign as prime minister if a replacement is found.
Last week, President Barham Salih said Abdul Mahdi was willing to resign once political leaders agreed on a replacement. He also called for a new election law and said he would approve early parliamentary polls once it was enacted.