840 Iranian academics ask IRGC Aerospace commander to fire on any intruding B-52s

January 13, 2021 - 15:41

TEHRAN – 840 Iranian university professors who teach or conduct research in various fields of soft power and soft warfare have called on Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh to open fire on any intruding U.S. warplanes, especially B-52s, and warships that may violate Iran's borders in water and sky.

“A sum of 840 university professors in the fields of soft power and soft war, in a letter to Brigadier General Hajizadeh, urged him to shoot down any hostile warplane and warship, especially the American B-52s, as soon as they are detected in the territorial waters and skies of Iran,” the academics said in an open letter on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

In their letter the academics also described General Hajizadeh as the “Conqueror of Ein Al-Assad”, an open reference to IRGC Aerospace Force's missile strikes on the U.S. airbase in southwestern Iraq in 2020 in reprisal for the U.S. assassination of top Iranian anti-terror Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

Pointing to the United States' empty power which has been magnified by the Western, Zionist, and Arab media outlets, the academicians asked General Hajizadeh to shatter this unreal and fabricated image.

The U.S. military first deployed B-52 bombers in West Asia on November 22. On December 10, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) also said that two B-52 bombers had been flown nonstop from Louisiana to West Asia Persian Gulf region on an alleged short-notice mission. The bombers were accompanied by aircraft from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain at various points in their mission.

According to CNN, the U.S. military also flew B-52 bombers to West Asia on December 30 which CENTCOME claimed is intended "to underscore the U.S. military's commitment to regional security and demonstrate a unique ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming combat power on short notice." 

The December 30 flight constitutes the third bomber deployment in the region. 

In response to the move, the military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution addressed President Donald Trump directly in a tweet.

Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan warned Trump "not to turn the New Year into a mourning for Americans." 

Analysts say the deployments by the U.S. are intended to provoke a response from Iran so that the outgoing President Donald Trump finds a pretext for war with Iran in order to remain power.

Mark Fitzpatrick, former executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says Trump has “conflicting impulses” in regard to Iran.

“On one hand, he is an isolationist who has sought to avoid engaging the United States in foreign wars.  On the other hand, he sees Iran as an arch-enemy and he may think, delusionally, that creating a crisis by attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities could somehow keep him in office,” Fitzpatrick tells the Tehran  Times.

In part of their letter, the academics say the “declining” U.S. which is on the path to “disintegration” is trying to reconstruct its nostalgia of a superpower by conducting  “theatrical movements" in areas near Iran. 

It added it is clear to all social, political, and security analysts that if the U.S. starts a war it will face serious “racial” and “social” divisions in different cities, especially after the attack on the Capitol which was a scene of violence and death. 

In 2019, the IRGC shot down a U.S. Navy’s Northrop Grumman MQ4-C Triton drone that had entered Iranian airspace in the Gulf of Oman to gather intelligence, using Sevvom Khordad (Khordad 3) indigenous surface-to-air missile system.

The United States had confirmed that one of its reconnaissance planes was shot down by Iranian air defenses but denied that it intruded into Tehran’s airspace at the time.

Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said at the time that his forces could have also shot down a U.S. P8 aircraft with 35 onboard which was violating Iran’s airspace, but decided to shoot down the drone to only send a message to Washington.

"We intended to send a message to American terrorists in the region," the brigadier general said on June 21, 2019, adding that his forces had also traced a military P8 aircraft violating the airspace of Iran.

"Along with the American drone was an American P8 aircraft with 35 onboard, and it was also violating our airspace and we could have downed it too," he said, adding, "But we did not do (shoot down) it, because our aim was to warn the terrorist forces of the U.S."

General Hajizadeh also stressed on June 22, 2019, that Iran was not after war but was fully ready to defend itself, adding that the fate of the downed U.S. spy drone was waiting for any intruding flying object.

"Our response to anything trespassing Iranian territory is like this, and if such acts of aggression are repeated, our response will also be the same," Hajizadeh said, adding, "We don’t embrace war but we are ready to fully defend the country".

"We possess a collection of U.S. drones which is proof that U.S. has violated Iran’s airspace and shows that they don’t want to respect international law", Hajizadeh remarked.

"If such an aggression is repeated, we will add other U.S. (military) products to complete this collection," the military official noted.

"The U.S. measure was in violation of international law and we acted according to our legitimate responsibility," Hajizadeh said, adding, "It is possible that a U.S. general or some operators were behind this American aggression, we don’t know that. But that measure (intruding into Iranian airspace) is a violation of international aviation rules by a spy drone which then received our natural response".

Meantime, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami stressed that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away.

The incident sent "a clear message" to the U.S. and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression, he stated.

"Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran's territorial integrity and national interests," the major general noted.

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