Any country that attacks Iran will turn into 'main battlefield', IRGC chief warns

General Salami says Iran will claim responsibility for anything it does

September 21, 2019

TEHRAN – Major General Hossein Salami, the head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), threatened on Saturday that the armed forces will open fire at any country that trespasses into Iran’s territories.

“We will hit anyone who intrudes into our borders and will openly announce it,” Salami said.

The Guards chief was speaking at Tehran’s Holy Defense and Islamic Revolution museum during the unveiling of an exhibition of introducing drones which had been captured after trespassing into Iranian airspace.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have soared in recent days, after an attack led by Yemeni Armed Forces against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, for which Washington and Riyadh have blamed Iran.

“A limited aggression will not remain limited,” the IRGC chief warns.

Iran has denied involvement in the attack, and a fierce war of words has been playing out between the two sides, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening that his forces were “locked and loaded”.

Salami warned that any country that attacks Iran will see its territory become the “main battlefield”.

The top general also said Iran was “ready for any type of scenario”.

“Whoever wants their land to become the main battlefield, go ahead,” Salami said.

He added, “We will never allow any war to encroach upon Iran’s territory.”

He reiterated that Iran will claim responsibility for anything it does.

During the ceremony on Saturday, the IRGC also showed the domestically manufactured Khordad 3 air defense battery, which was used to shoot down a U.S. Global Hawk drone on June 20.

“What are your drones doing in our airspace? We will shoot them down, shoot anything that encroaches on our airspace,” said Salami.

The commander called the downing of the spy drone a “sweet anecdote”, saying the incident demonstrated the collapse of the technological power of the United States in the world.

Addressing Washington, the general said, “Sometimes they talk of military options….but “a limited aggression will not remain limited.”

“We tend towards punishment and pursuit [of aggressors] and will not rest until the collapse of any aggressor,” he said. “So do not make a mistake and take these into your calculations.”

On June 20, the IRGC Aerospace unit downed an American RQ-4 Global Hawk drone over the Strait of Hormuz after it violated Iranian airspace. Despite the U.S. claims that the drone had been flying over international waters, Iran said it had retrieved sections of the drone in its own territorial waters where it was shot down.

In comments made a few hours after the incident, Salami said the incident had a straightforward message that any foreign intrusion into Iranian territories would draw a crushing response.

Hajizadeh: Crushing response awaits those who dare make a mistake 

In similar remarks during the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace unit, said if the enemy dares to make a mistake, it will definitely face a “crushing response”.

Today, the largest drone collection of the world was unveiled at the Holy Defense and Islamic Revolution museum, he said. “This museum is a museum of learning a lesson for those who threaten the Iranian nation.”

“The enemies should learn a lesson and change their tone with the Iranian nation,” he added.

Earlier this month, Hajizadeh had revealed that Iran was ready to attack U.S. bases in the region if the Pentagon tried to retaliate after the drone downing.

“As was mentioned in previous interviews, if they wanted to attack, we would have attacked U.S. bases with missiles, and we were ready, and we would have targeted the U.S. base in al-Udeid in Qatar or al-Dhafra in the Emirates or their ships in the Gulf of Oman or Arabian Sea, and if they had hit us, we would have hit them back,” General Hajizadeh said in an interview with the Nader’s Show, hosted by Nader Talebzadeh.

“Of course, they knew and had intelligence and were aware of the consequences of that eventuality,” he said. “But if that incident had occurred, the conflict would have continued and intensified.”

The IRGC general also asked the American people what their reactions would be if Iran sent its drones along the U.S. coasts. “In other words, if we send our drones and begin doing these things, would the U.S. tolerate it? Naturally, they wouldn’t tolerate it.”

Tensions started to build up between the U.S. and Iran after Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, and imposed sanctions against Tehran in a bid to put maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. Tehran has slammed the sanctions, which have affected the lives of Iranians, as “economic terrorism”.

Army chief: U.S. will be hit ten times if it hits Iran once

Meanwhile, Chief of the Iranian Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said in an interview with Iran’s state TV that the U.S. will be hit ten times if it hits Iran once, ISNA reported on Saturday.

“The Americans sent a message recently that ‘we would hit one point and you don’t respond so that the quarrel ends’,” Mousavi said. “We responded that ‘if you hit once, you will be hit ten times’.”

He also said Iran does not care who the aggressor is and will respond firmly to anyone who tries to intrude into Iranian territories.

MH/PA

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