A top Iranian general said Sunday that Iran would deal the US a crushing defeat in response to the slightest hostile action against the Islamic republic, according to a report by the semi-official Fars news agency.
“Today the US knows that the slightest move against the Islamic Iran will ruin its house of dream,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps said.
Salami was apparently responding to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements that a military option was still on the table should Tehran fail to respect the nuclear deal reached in Vienna earlier this month.
“The Americans have always resorted to bullying because they lack diplomatic skills,” Salami added.
The general has been known for blusterous rhetoric in the past. In May Salami said that a battle with the US would only serve to highlight Iran’s strengths.
“We welcome war with the US as we do believe that it will be the scene for our success to display the real potentials of our power,” Fars quoted him as saying at the time. “We have prepared ourselves for the most dangerous scenarios and this is no big deal.
“We warn their pilots that their first flight [to attack Iran] will be their last one and no one will be allowed to go back safe and sound,” he warned.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also hit back at Kerry on Sunday, calling on Washington to stop using threatening language against Tehran.
“The US should know that it has no other option but respecting Iran and showing modesty towards the country and saying the right thing,” Rouhani told a crowd in the western Iranian city of Sanandij.
Kerry said in a Washington Post op-ed jointly written with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz published Thursday that the nuclear deal “extends the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear weapon, provides strong verification measures that give us ample time to respond if Iran chooses that path, and takes none of our options off the table.”
“The table they are talking about has broken legs,” Rouhani retorted Sunday.
“Today we enjoy the victory of all Iranians after 12 years insisting on reason and dialogue despite the threats and pressure imposed by world powers,” he continued, according to the Mehr News Agency. “Who could believe seeing a day in which those insisting on dismantling Iran’s nuclear cycle surrender to Iranians’ will to have the peaceful nuclear program.”