Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri cautioned the US against the “big risk” of imposing terrorism-related sanctions on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“Drawing an analogy between the IRGC and terrorist groups and imposing the same sanctions (used against terrorists) on the IRGC would be a big risk to the US and its bases and forces stationed in the region,” the senior Iranian commander said in a gathering of IRGC Ground Force commanders, held in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Monday.
Slamming as a “wrong US calculation” a Congressional bill seeking to apply terrorism-related sanctions to the IRGC, Major General Baqeri said the Iranian nation has always stood up against the world hegemonic system, especially the US, and has boosted its capabilities, stressing that any fresh sanction would again become an opportunity for Iran’s progress.
He further recommended that the US legislature exercise more “caution” and “think deeper” about the decisions on new anti-Iran sanctions, stressing, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile power is defensive and never would be subject to bargaining and negotiation at any level.”
In June, the US Senate passed a bill on new sanctions against Iran. The bill imposes mandatory sanctions on people involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those who do business with them. It also applies terrorism-related sanctions to the IRGC and enforces an arms embargo.
Elsewhere in his comments, the senior general hit back at US officials for their brazen interference in Iran’s internal affairs and for calling for a regime change in the country, recommending them to speak in a more careful and mature manner about Iran.
Last week, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis accused Tehran of sponsoring terrorism and called for regime change in Iran in an interview with the newspaper of a local American high school.
The suggestion of regime change is not the first by a Donald Trump administration official. In June, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the US would support those wanting to bring about a regime change in Iran.