A commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Pakpour, said that US should expect a ‘strong slap in the face’ it it underestimates Iran’s defensive capabilities.
Since Donald Trump entered office, US/Iran relations have deteriorated, as Trump repeatedly said that US should get tough with Teheran and that Obama’s Iran deal was “the worst deal ever negotiated”.
“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake.” Said Pakpour quoted by the Guards’ website.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards conducted extensive military exercises with rockets, artillery, tanks and helicopters, in the midst of increased tensions with Washington. Several key men in the Trump administration, including Vice President Mick Pense and Defense Secretary James Mattis are outspoken opponents of Iran, and advocate a hard-line stance towards the regime in Teheran.
The Iran Deal, concluded in 2015 between Iran and five world powers, saw Teheran agree to limit its nuclear program in exchange for US, EU and UN removing their sanctions on Iran.
During his presidential campaign, Trump has denounced the deal as ‘catastrophic’ and said that it enabled Iran to increase its influence in the region. However, so far, Trump has not outlined his strategy towards the Iran.
Recent tensions between Washington and Teheran could further weaken US position in the region, at the time when Iran, Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iran-backed rebel groups are working together towards a solution of the Syrian conflict.
A recent proposal by the Trump administration to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization has also raised issues from defense and intelligence officials, who said that the move ‘could potentially backfire’.
If implemented, the measure would designate Iran’s most powerful security force as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” which could have significant repercussions on US policy in the Middle East.
Iran denies any involvement in terrorism, and its officials have warned the new US administration of creating new tensions.