IRGC Chief: Soleimani Revenge Will Be ‘Serious And Real'
Major-General Hossein Salami, Commander-in-Chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), has reiterated Iran’s resolve to revenge January’s killing of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by the United States.
Speaking in Tehran on Saturday, September 19, Salami responded to reports that Iran was planning an attack on the United States ambassador in South Africa. “Do you think we would attack a female ambassador in South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani?” he said. “We will hit those who were directly or indirectly involved in killing that great man.”
Salami explicitly warned the US president Donald Trump, who authorized the drone strike that killed Soleimani just after he arrived at Baghdad Airport: “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious, and real…We have gone as far as the Mediterranean, and we will chase our enemies wherever they go.”
Salami’s came during a speech on the occasion of ‘Holy Defense Week’, marking the anniversary of the beginning of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
Last week, Trump warned the Islamic Republic that if it attacked US interests, “We’re going to hit them 1,000 times harder.” Responding to Trump, Salami said: “You are warning us of a reaction 1,000 times harder than our attack. We know you. That is why when we attacked your base in Ain al-Assad in Iraq, we prepared hundreds of missiles to demolish whatever you had, in case you responded to our attack.”
The IRGC general was referring to Iran’s attack on January 8, five days after the killing of Soleimani, when its ballistic missiles hit military bases in Iraq hosting US and other coalition troops.
Salami said in another part of his speech: “If it wasn’t for the Islamic Republic in Iran, the United States had devoured the whole world…It was the Islamic Republic that left the United States as a defeated force in the battlefront, overwhelmed by fatigue.”
Salami argued that the US had “lost its influence” in the world: “The United States did not win any war after World War II. It only won wars as part of coalitions, but still did not manage to benefit from the coalitions’ victories.”
Salami claimed the US was now “politically isolated”, as shown by its failure to convince the United Nations Security Council to agree ‘snapback’ sanctions after Iran exceeded the limits of the 2015 nuclear agreement. The US moved snapback on August 20, a mechanism under the agreement that could have led to the re-imposition of all UN sanctions by September 20, but nearly all other UNSC members argued Washington was not entitled to do so as it withdrew from the agreement in 2018.
“Even its traditional allies did not back it in its move to extend the arms embargo against Iran,” Salami said. “It could rely only on the Dominican Republic at the UN Security Council…No bullet is going to be fired even if the trigger is pulled.”
The IRGC commander made the comments less than a day before the United States is expected to issue an executive order unilaterally imposing sanctions on any party breaking from current UN sanctions on Iran.
Despite defiant statements by Iranian military leaders and officials, the Trump administration has been able to impose draconian unilateral sanctions, plunging Iran’s economy into a deep crisis. The IRGC was designated as a ‘foreign terrorist organization’ by the US in 2019.
Salami claimed that US influence around the world was shrinking as new forced emerged. Salami said: “The century of the United States ended with the end of the 20th century. The Islamic Revolution stood against it and today Muslims and freedom lovers inspired by the Islamic revolution are standing against Washington.”
Salami ended his speech with further warnings: “The enemy is under our watch everywhere. They could come under our fire if needed …Mr. Trump! If one Iranian is slightly wounded, our reaction would be overwhelming. This is a serious threat and we will prove everything in practice.”
In another development related to the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war, Deputy IRGC Commander Ali Fadavi attacked agreements announced in Washington last week between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates with Israel. “Those involved in the normalization of ties with the Zionist regime will receive a hard slap in the mouth,” he said.
Fadavi said it would be the Party of God [Hezbollah] and the Islamic revolutionary front, including Palestinian and other groups allied with Iran that will punish them.