After the Pentagon announced troop deployment to support Saudi Arabia on Sep. 20, Iran warned against “any act of aggression” and its military leaders said the country will leave no safety zone for its enemies.
“We will never let any war be dragged into our territory and we will stand against any act of aggression,” said Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Hossein Salami on Saturday, according to Iran’s state media, the Mehr News Agency.
Salami said if dragged into a war, Iran will bring the war to the territory of its attackers. “Enemies should know that our capacities are latent and we have just shown a small part of them,” he said.
Mehr News Agency reports that the military leader talked about shooting any drone that enters into its territory. “Iran is ready to respond to any planned scenarios or any act of aggression,” he said.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is an institution with substantial political, economic, and military power and plays “an outsized role in executing Iran’s foreign policy and wields control over vast segments of the economy,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
President Donald Trump designated it as a terrorist organization in April 2019 and said that it “participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” reported the CFR.
Salami’s comments have come after the Pentagon announced the deployment of the U.S. forces “which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.”
Iranian state media also reports that top Military Aide to the Iranian Leader, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned Iran’s regional and trans-regional enemies on Friday that any attack against Iran will throw the entire region into turmoil.
Earlier on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had warned of an “all-out war” in the case of an attack on its territory in an interview with CNN.
Iran will start to celebrate its Holy Defense Week from Sunday and its state media reports that this will include countrywide military parades lead by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the capital and provincial capitals.
The Pentagon’s Statement
Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said in a statement after meeting President Trump and his national security team on Friday that Iran has recently increased its military activity in the region through direct attacks and by lending support to its “proxies” in the region.
“In the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, which are vital waterways for global commerce, Iran has threatened the safe passage of ships by attacking commercial vessels and illegally seizing a British oil tanker.
“In Yemen, Iran is perpetuating war by providing sustained financial support and advanced weapons to the Houthi insurgency. And on June 20th, Iran shot down a United States unmanned aircraft that was flying over international waters,” the Pentagon statement said.
It said despite many requests by President Trump for diplomatic talks, the Iranian aggression continued to increase and the Sep. 14 attacks on the Saudi oil facilities represent a “dramatic escalation” of it.
Pentagon said the purpose of the US forces deployment is to “send a clear message that the United States supports our partners in the region. Second, to ensure the free flow of resources necessary to support the global economy. And third, to demonstrate our commitment to upholding the international rules-based order that we have long called on Iran to obey.”
Esper and Dunford said President Trump doesn’t want a conflict with Iran: “We urge the Iranian leadership to cease their destructive and destabilizing activities and to move forward on a peaceful, diplomatic path.”