The chief commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned the United States yesterday that if it attacked the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities, it would blow back in America’s face.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari was responding to a statement by Secretary of State John Kerry made on Thursday to Al Arabiya that if Iran does not abide by the interim Geneva agreement with the 5+1 world powers reached in Geneva, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”
“Mr. Kerry!” Jafari replied. “Know that a direct conflict with America is the strongest dream of the faithful and revolutionary men around the world. Your threats to revolutionary Islam are the best opportunity. Muslim leaders for years have been preparing us for a decisive battle. I think it’s unlikely that your wise men would allow America to be placed on one side of this decisive battle and take the ridiculous military option from the table into action.”
Claiming that America’s days of superiority are over because of budget deficits and broken policies, Jafari warned Kerry of a massive retaliation from its proxies if Iran is attacked.
“If you don’t have the ability to understand the military and security issues, ask your experienced analysts if America can truly withstand the devastating consequences of a military action,” he said. “Do you know how many thousands of revolutionary Muslims at the heart of the Islamic revolutionary groups around the world are awaiting for you to take this [military] option from the table into action?” Jafari asked. “If you don’t know, think a bit or research it.”
Iran and the 5+1 world powers, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany, reached an interim agreement in Geneva in November over the regime’s illicit nuclear program. Under the six-month agreement, Iran, in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, will keep much of its nuclear infrastructure, is limited to enriching uranium at the 5 percent level for six months, will convert its highly enriched uranium of 20 percent to harmless oxide, and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be limited to only agreed-on facilities.
“In case [Iranian] officials witness any violation or an effort to disregard our country’s inalienable nuclear rights by the West and America taking advantage of the [Geneva] agreement with their interpretation of it, they should consider the agreement annulled with full authority,” Jafari had warned after the interim agreement was reached.
The regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, in an interview with Fareed Zakaria on CNN, gave the same message that nuclear technology was Iran’s inalienable right. “It is a part of our national pride, and nuclear technology has become indigenous. … And recently, we have managed to secure very considerable prowess with regards to the fabrication of centrifuges.” Rouhani added that “not under any circumstances” would Iran destroy any of its existing centrifuges.
Furthermore, Deputy Chief of Iranian Armed Forces’ General Staff Brigadier General Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri said on Saturday that American interests in the Middle East will be “totally destroyed” if the U.S. attacks Iran, according to Alalam.ir.
An informed source within the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division who cannot be named for security reasons has stated that Rouhani’s mission is to manage a breakdown in international sanctions while buying time for the country to make further progress in missile delivery and nuclear weapons development.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).