IRGC general: Enemies will face “tough response” if they test Iran

August 7, 2021 - 22:7

TEHRAN — The head of the aerospace force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has warned the enemies against any aggressive behavior against Iran, saying that if they test Iran's strength again, they will face a "tough response".

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh made the remarks on Saturday after Israel and certain Western countries accused Tehran of attacking an Israeli tanker abandoned off the coast of Oman.

They have failed to provide any evidence to confirm their claims against Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement in the incident and categorically refuted the unfounded allegations.

Hajizadeh said, "The Islamic Republic has passed the test and does not need to retest, but it can retest Iran if it wants." 

"They let us stand the test and know the answers they will face. We have both the power and the will to exercise power. We will definitely respond harshly and they cannot make such a mistake,” the general added. 

According to reports, on July 29, the Liberian-flagged Mercer Street operated by the Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime Company was suspiciously hit near the island of Masirah, Oman. Two crew members were killed in the incident. 

“Don’t test us”

In similar remarks on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh warned Israel against any “foolish move,” saying that Iran will decisively respond to any reckless military adventure.

“In another brazen violation of Int'l law, Israeli regime now blatantly threatens Iran with military action. Such malign behavior stems from blind Western support,” Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. “We state this clearly: ANY foolish act against Iran will be met with a DECISIVE response. Don't test us.”

He was responding to a threat issued by Israeli War Minister Benny Gantz against Iran. Gantz said Israel is ready to take military action against Iran. 

The Israeli-operated ship Mercer Street was attacked off the coast of Oman on July 29 while traveling from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah. The oil tanker, managed by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime, was reportedly attacked by suicide drones. Zodiac Maritime said two crewmen, a British and Romanian national, died in the attack.

“With profound sadness, we understand the incident onboard the M/T Mercer Street on 29 July, 2021 has resulted in the deaths of two crew members on board,” the UK-based Israeli company said in a statement on Friday afternoon, a day after the attack.

Israel, the U.S. and the UK blamed Iran for the attack without presenting any evidence to support their accusations.  

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett claimed that Tel Aviv knows with certainty Iran attacked the Mercer Street ship and will respond to it. 

“I determine, with absolute certainty – Iran carried out the attack against the ship,” Bennett stated, according to the Jerusalem Post. “The intelligence evidence for this exists and we expect the international community will make it clear to the Iranian regime that they have made a serious mistake.”

He noted, “In any case, we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way.”

The UK also followed suit. “We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran. UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV Mercer Street in international waters off Oman on 29 July using one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),” said a UK statement last week.

“The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”

Iran said it was not behind the attack on the Israeli ship. Khatibzadeh has responded to allegations by U.S. and UK top diplomats against Iran about last week’s attack on an Israeli oil tanker off the coast of Oman.


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