FM Zarif: Iran doesn’t seek war, but will ‘openly & directly’ defend its people
As the US tries more provocations in the run-up to the anniversary of its assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror military commander, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warns that the Islamic Republic avoids military conflict, but is prepared to put up effective defense.
“Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.
On Wednesday, two nuclear-capable American B-52 bombers flew over the Persian Gulf after nonstop flights to the region from their US-based hangars. It was the third time in six weeks that American bombers were conducting long-range flights off the Iranian coast.
The latest deployments came after the US Navy announced the arrival of a nuclear-powered submarine in the Persian Gulf last week. The USS Georgia passed the Strait of Hormuz accompanied by two American warships, making it the first missile-loaded submarine of its kind to enter the Persian Gulf in eight years.
Zarif said, “Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war,” apparently depicting the context surrounding the back-to-back deployments.
Zarif, meanwhile, regretted that, “Instead of fighting Covid in US, realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region.”
January 3 will mark the first anniversary of the US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani. General Soleimani was the former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). He was admired as the Middle East’s most potent counter-terrorism commander, with a unique charisma.
He was Iran’s lead military advisor helping Iraq and Syria defeat foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists, chiefly Daesh.
General Soleimani was martyred in a US drone strike in Baghdad during an official visit. His Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, was also killed along with their other companions when their convoy was hit.
Iran has vowed to punish the perpetrators whether on the ground or through international legal channels.
The IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles at a US military base in Iraq following the cowardly attack. According to the US Defense Department, more than 110 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans, who perished as a result of the retaliation.
Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked the Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.
Recently, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said revenge for the Iranian general was certain and would be exacted at the right time.
Source: Press TV