Iran’s Military Warns Harsh Response to US Forces in West Asia

TEHRAN: Iran’s most senior military body has vowed to “spare no effort” in fighting the American forces operating in West Asia, a day after Washington blacklisted the country’s elite Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic made the pledge in a statement that it had reciprocally designated the US administration as a “supporter of terrorism” and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) — including all its affiliated bases, units, and forces — “a terrorist organization” pursuant to a decision by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the country’s top security body.

The remarks came after the Trump administration on Monday labeled IRGC as a “terrorist group” at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israelis headed to the polls on Tuesday to elect the 120 members of the 21st Knesset (parliament). On the eve of the vote, Netanyahu took credit for Trump’s decision to blacklist IRGC.

“Thank you, my dear friend, President Donald Trump,” Netanyahu tweeted in Hebrew, “for answering another one of my important requests.”

On Monday, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, in turn, designated US forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a terrorist organization.

Following this “unwise” move by the United States, the General Staff “will be treating all the forces enlisted with CENTCOM as terrorists,” the statement read. “The General Staff will spare no effort in supporting the IRGC’s counter-terrorism measures in fighting the terrorist CENTCOM,” it added.

“A review of criminal and bloodthirsty America’s adventuristic actions in the region over the past several decades proves the fact that Washington wastes no effort towards destabilizing the West Asia region as a means of creating a comfort zone for the infanticidal Zionist regime [of Israel].”

It also slammed the US for its covert and overt “support for terror groups, such as Daesh, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusra [Front], in whose creation and evolution it has, itself, played a central role.”

It also praised the Corps’ successful fight against terrorists in Iraq and Syria, where Iran has deployed military advisors at the requests of respective Baghdad and Damascus governments.

By defeating those terrorists, the IRGC “imposed another heavy defeat on the terrorist-breeding United States in the region,” it asserted.

Finally, the General Staff said the designation was a desperate attempt by the US to cover up its defeats in the region and is doomed to failure.

Also on Tuesday, the IRGC’s chief commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said the Corps will grow stronger now that the US has taken such a move.

“We announce decisively that the Corps will, by God’s grace, grow stronger in its defensive and offensive system over the next year,” he asserted.

 He also called the designation “very ridiculous because the IRGC has a place in the hearts of the [Iranian] people.”

“The Corps’ credibility does not come from Washington, but from the dear and honorable [Iranian] people,” he added.

The IRGC and the Army would keep working together, serve the oppressed and down-trodden people all over the world, and will have no fear, Jafari said.

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