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Iran Guards Commander Threatens US Forces In The Persian Gulf

FILE - Amir Ali Hajizadeh is the commander of Iran's Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander has repeated a threat on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers were within range of Iranian missiles, a day after Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group attacked two Saudi Aramco plants.

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” said the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force Amirali Hajizadeh.

In the past year, Iranian officials have repeatedly threatened U.S. bases and other Persian Gulf countries of retaliation if U.S. sanctions are not lifted.

Hajizadeh also said that "neither Iran nor the U.S. have an intention" to start a war, but an "accidental" escalation cannot be ruled out.

After the attack on Saudi oil installation on Saturday, U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump strongly voiced support for Riyadh. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly blamed Iran and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for attacking Iran’s oil refineries if provocations continue.

But there were other voices warning against a rush into escalation. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted that the situation in the Middle East is not so simple to say “Houthis=Iran” and called Pompeo’s tweet “irresponsible simplification."

The semi-official Tasnim news agency also quoted him saying that "Iran has always been ready for a "full-fledged" war."

With Reporting by Reuters