Iran general says US is heading for collapse

Tehran’s ground forces commander launches latest volley of belligerent rhetoric two days before nuclear talks

Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, Iran's ground forces commander (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan, Iran's ground forces commander (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

The commander of Iran’s Army ground forces on Sunday declared that the US is heading for collapse.

Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan was quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency warning Washington against any military action against Iran, and predicting that US was moving toward a final collapse.

“Based on the remarks of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei), the ‘world arrogance’ is moving on a historical twist,” he said in an address, referring to the US. “And if it repeats its wrong method against Iran, it will no doubt have no destiny, but decomposition like the Soviet Union.”

The remarks, the latest in a series of belligerent comments by prominent Iranian figures, came two days before Iran and world powers begin talks aimed at transforming an interim deal into a long-term accord on Iran’s rogue nuclear program.

Last week, Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi warned the Islamic republic’s foes that Iran was prepared for a “decisive battle” if attacked.

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying.

He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil. “We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.

Washington has many military bases in the region, including in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said late last month that if diplomacy with Iran fails, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”

But Firouzabadi accused the US of bluffing.

“Over the past decade, they brought their forces but came to the conclusion that they can’t attack us, and left,” he said, dismissing the US military threat as nothing but a “political bluff.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the West should not have any delusions about using a military option. “I say explicitly, if some have delusions of having any threats against Iran on their tables, they need to wear new glasses. There is no military option against Iran on any table in the world,” he said.

And last Sunday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said the US knows that its aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf would be sunk if it launched a military strike on Iran. “The Americans can sense by all means how their warships will be sunk with 5,000 crews and forces in combat against Iran and how they should find its hulk in the depths of the sea,” said Fadavi, according to Fars.

“They cannot hide themselves in the sea since the entire Middle East region, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are monitored by us and there is no place for them to hide.”

Also Sunday, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan touted the Iranian military’s ability to respond to an American attack, Fars reported. “The Iranian Armed Forces are an intertwined and coherent complex that can give a decisive response to any threat at any level and any place under the command of the commander-in-chief,” Dehqan said in a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the revolution that brought the current Islamic regime to power. “The enemy can never assess and think of the range of the response given by the powerful and mighty Armed Forces of the Islamic Iran,” he added.

On February 7, Iranian state TV ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a simulated retaliation for a hypothetical Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic. The clip also showed simulated attacks on American targets in the region, including an aircraft-carrier.

AFP and AP contributed to this report.

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