Baqeri says Iran has no enmity toward neighbors

Any aggression will be faced with destruction, seizure: Iran’s military chief

September 24, 2019

TEHRAN – Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, has warned that “destruction” and “seizure” await aggressors, according to Mehr.

“We have announced to our enemies numerous times that we will stand decisively against aggressions and the same action that was taken toward the [U.S.] intruding drone and England’s intruding warship and tanker will be taken toward any other aggressor as well,” General Baqeri said, addressing an open session of the parliament on Tuesday.  

“The result of aggression against Iran is destruction and seizure,” he warned.

The general was referring to two incidents that occurred in June and July.

On June 20, the IRGC Aerospace 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 put on show the retrieved parts of the drone in its own territorial waters where it was shot down.

The intruding drone was shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.

On July 19, the 30,000-ton UK-flagged Stena Impero tanker was also seized by Iranian naval forces, after it ignored distress call as it collided with a fishing boat on its route.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said at that time that the ship had also used a wrong path to enter the Strait of Hormuz.  

General Baqeri also highlighted Iranian armed forces’ preparedness to defend the country’s territories, saying, “Today, the enemies, who are fearful of a war against Iran, have taken the path of economic terrorism.”

He also said Iran holds no enmity toward neighboring countries, but Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the top two regional countries that orchestrate conspiracies against the Islamic Republic.

These are Islamic countries that have lost the path and need to return to the Islamic world and take responsibility for security in the region along with Iran, the general remarked.

 “We tell the neighboring countries that we do not have any enmity towards you, (but) countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Muslim states that have lost their path and should stand shoulder to shoulder with Iran to preserve security in the region.”

Baqeri also pointed to Iran’s self-reliant defense industry, saying such military capabilities belong to the Muslim world. 

“Everyone should know that regional security should be provided by the cooperation of regional countries,” he said, in reference to Washington’s attempts to form a military coalition in the Persian Gulf.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated Washington’s plan to build a maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf to deter what he called Iranian threats.

He was speaking after talks with Saudi and Emirati leaders over the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Tehran. Iran denies any involvement in the attack.

The Yemeni forces on September 14 launched drone attacks on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.

The attacks came in retaliation for the Saudi-led coalition’s continued aggression on the Arabian Peninsula country.

In response to Washington’s calls to form the anti-Iran coalition, President Hassan Rouhani has said he will unveil the details of his plan for security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, called the “Hormuz Peace Initiative”, at his speech at the United Nations.

Rouhani said on Monday that any solution to calm tensions must come from the region and what he called a “coalition of hope.”

MH/PA

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