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Iranian Parliament, IRGC Rush To Dispel Fears Of War With U.S.

Wearing the uniform of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, lawmakers chant slogan during an open session of parliament in Tehran, April 9, 2019

Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and his deputies took part at the closed-door session of the Iranian Parliament on Sunday May 12, to discuss a probable war with the United States, reported semi-official news agency ISNA.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the chairman of the Majles National Security and Foreign Policy Committee told ISNA that there were some "serious discussions" about a possible war with America at the parliament (Majles) session.

The U.S. policy of gradually increasing pressures on Iran, with military moves announced during the past week, has led to deep concerns in Iran, both in the ruling establishment and among the people.

ISNA quoted Falahatpisheh as saying that in his speech, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami reiterated: "The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully prepared for war," adding that "Not only Iran will not be defeated in this war, but it can end the war in the region victoriously."

"However, our strategic analysis is that there is not going to be a war. The U.S. behavior on the ground shows that Americans are not after a war. They have simply created a psychological atmosphere about an imminent war," Falahatpisheh quoted IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami as saying.

Falahatpisheh added that "the United States has already played all of its cards while Iranians haven't," adding that "The United States once again used the same old card of sanctions, but Iranians have not disclosed their tactics as they are not after escalating the atmosphere of tension and crisis."

He further insisted that "We believe these are the Americans who will change their positions in the future."

A similar comment was made by the usually outspoken deputy speaker of parliament Ali Motahari who dismissed the threat of a U.S. attack by saying that "Israel is within the range of our weapons" and Washington will not dare to start a war.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Javad Abtahi, MP for Khomeyni Shahr, told IRGC-linked news agency Tasnim, "General Salami who was present at the Majles today, stressed that Iran will not start any war. We do not like wars. However, unlike the Americans who fear war, we are warriors and do not fear military conflicts."

However, according to Abtahi, General salami said: "Let Americans know if they start a war, their interests will be endangered. They are not the ones who are going to end the war."

During recent days U.S. officials have said that they have intelligence about new threats from Iran, so they have hastened the deployment of USS Abraham Lincoln, as well as B-52 bombers and a battery of Patriot missiles to the Persian Gulf.

The cover image of Seda magazine in Iran, which was shut down because of a lead article on the possibility of a U.S. attack. May 12, 2019
The cover image of Seda magazine in Iran, which was shut down because of a lead article on the possibility of a U.S. attack. May 12, 2019

There are indications that show Iranians may have subsequently panicked. On Saturday, Iran banned a popular weekly magazine because it had said the Iranian government was at the brink of a war and it should decide between negotiations or war with the United States. The weekly, Seda, carried a picture of the USS Abraham Lincoln on its cover.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities briefly arrested a journalist, Ali Malihi, apparently for tweeting the Seda story.

In the meantime, a statement by President Hassan Rouhani who said he is not in control of the country's foreign policy further aggravated the state of panic on the Iranian domestic political scene. Rouhani made the statement in a regular annual banquette he has been throwing every year in Ramadan attended by the same individuals for quite a few decades now.

On the other hand, state controlled ISNA featured an outdated interview by IRGC Aerospace Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh to balance the media reflection of threats. In the interview, which dates back to the autumn of 2018, Hajizadeh had said: "The Americans in the region are like a piece of meat under our teeth. We will hit them in the head if they move." He added using a frequently employed cliché: "This wasn't the case before. Previously, they were threats. Now they our opportunities for us."

In the meantime, while serious debates are going on about the possibility of a war in the region, some Iranians seize every opportunity to crack a joke about President Donald Trump asking Iranian officials to call him to start negotiations. In this dubbed video, while Trump is desperately waiting for a call from Rouhani, advertisers pester him offering a new brand of water tap.