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Guards' Commander Says Iran's Air Defenses More Accurate Than Advanced Countries

Chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Gen. Hossein Salami speaks in a ceremony displaying pieces of the American drone shot down by the Guard in the Strait of Hormuz in June, in Tehran, September 21, 2019

The Chief Commander of Iran’s Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed that his country’s air defenses are “more accurate” than those of advanced countries and that Iran had readied “hundreds of ballistic missiles for simultaneous launch after the killing of Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani by an American drone.

Gen. Hossein Salami made the remarks 40 days after IRGC’s anti-aircraft missiles brought down a Ukrainian civilian airliner taking off from Tehran on January 8, in what Iran said was “human error”. Hours earlier on that day, Iran had fired missiles at bases in Iraq hosting American forces and was anticipating a response.

In an interview with Al Mayadin Arabic-language television in Lebanon, Salami called Soleimani a “defenseless commander” who was “unarmed” and added that his killing by the United States was an act of “oppression”. The IRGC commander threatened to continue to respond to the killing until Israel’s “dissolution” and exit of U.S. forces from the Middle East, which he said were Soleimani’s goals.

Speaking about Iran’s January 8 attack on U.S. troops in Iraq, Salami said Iran was ready “to continue” if the United States had responded to its missile strikes. “In conjunction with our first wave of attacks, we had readied large waves of destructive missile strikes, to be launched simultaneously at other bases and targets”, Salami added.

He also praised Iran’s military accomplishments, including domestically made drones and claimed that the unmanned aerial vehicles “are capable of long-range, accurate operations with the capability to evade radars and get through air defenses.