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Iranian Military Officials Discount The Possibility Of A U.S. Attack

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) speaks during a visit to the Imam Hussein Military College in Tehran, May 20, 2015

Claiming that Iran has the “upper hand” in the region, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has dismissed the possibility of a U.S. attack against Iran.

“The United States will be the loser of any war that it might initiate against Iran due to preparedness of the country’s armed forces and lack of international support for such military action,” IRGC affiliated news agency, Fars, cited Brigadier General Hossein Salami as saying on Friday, September 14.

Meanwhile, Salami reiterated in a speech, “The option of war against the Islamic Republic of Iran is canceled because the US has neither the [requisite] political conditions for a war nor an ally that would side with it,” Salami said in a speech in the northern province of Semnan.

He echoed earlier remarks by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that chances of a U.S. attack against Iran is “zero”, yet, Iranian Armed Forces should be fully prepared for it and enhance their military might.

"Political calculations show that there is no chance for a military war, yet the armed forces are needed to boost their equipment and human capabilities vigilantly and through an efficient and agile management," Ayatollah Khamenei said at a meeting with senior commanders and officials of the Air Defense Base in Tehran on Sunday, September 10.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, second-in-command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami, second-in-command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Immediately after Khamenei’s remarks, a news agency affiliated with state-run Radio and TV broadcasting, YJC, noted, “Since U.S. is worried about Iranians attack on Israel and US military bases in the region, Washington is not contemplating on a military strike against the Islamic Republic.”

Two former IRGC commanders also lined up to expand on Khamenei’s arguments. Secretary of the influential Expediency Council and former Chief-Commander of IRGC, Major General Mohsen Rezaei implicitly referred to U.S. military bases in the region and said, “Fifty thousand U.S. forces are at the mercy of Iranian armed forces.”

Later, the secretary of another influential body, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and former IRGC navy commander, Ali Shamkhani also joined the chorus by stressing, “The era of ‘hit and run’ is over and Iran will give a response ‘10 times stronger than any hostile measure’ against it.”

Salami has gone further by insisting, "The U.S. military is incapable of engaging us in a battle and the American economy wouldn't be able to support the war either." He also added that if the U.S. starts a war it will boost Iran's influence in the region.

He reiterated that the US war against Iran is no longer a possibility because Washington lacks the political means and international support to launch a new military campaign.

Furthermore, IRGC commanders have repeatedly warned that if U.S. succeeds in stopping Iranian oil exports, the Islamic Republic will shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz where about 20% of the world's petroleum (about 35% of the petroleum traded by sea) passes through it.

“The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero... It shows they have not thought about its consequences,” President Hassan Rouhani said on July 4, while on an official visit to Vienna.

Two days later, the chief commander of IRGC’s extraterritorial operations, Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani said Iran will block oil shipments through the Hormuz Strait if U.S. President Donald Trump stops Iranian oil sales.

Responding to the threat of blocking Strait of Hormuz, U.S. military commanders have repeatedly pointed out that they are capable of guaranteeing the safety of ships passing through the Persian Gulf channel.

“For decades, our forces have been postured in the Gulf to ensure freedom of navigation and will continue to do that,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, during a press conference on August 28.