TEHRAN – The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) has downplayed Washington’s weight-lifting and declared that the Islamic Republic is not afraid of a possible armed conflict after a year of mounting tensions and weeks of US military occupation in the Middle East.
IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday that Iran’s paramilitary force “does not support any war” but at the same time “does not fear a war.”
“We have a willingness to defend the country,” he said, adding that Iran has increased its military capabilities over the past 30 years, while the United States “is no longer as powerful as before.”
Iranian military and civilian officials have denied on several occasions to hold peace talks with the United States. More recently, a deputy commander of the IRGC said that negotiating with the “Great Satan” would bring no results.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded to US President Donald Trump’s statement that Washington is not aiming to change the government in Iran but seeks to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
On his Twitter account, Zarif denied that Tehran aspired to have nuclear weapons and accused Washington of provoking regional tensions by sending additional forces into the Middle East as well as damaging the Iranian people.
“Ayatollah @khamenei_ir long ago said we’re not seeking nuclear weapons—by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them.
#B_Team’s #EconomicTerrorism is hurting the Iranian people & causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that’s @realDonaldTrump’s intent”
Ayatollah @khamenei_ir long ago said we’re not seeking nuclear weapons—by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them.#B_Team‘s #EconomicTerrorism is hurting the Iranian people & causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that’s @realDonaldTrump‘s intent
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 27, 2019
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen since May 2018, after the American president left the Iranian nuclear deal. Since then, the US has imposed several rounds of sanctions against the Islamic Republic, targeting the financial system, transportation, military and other spheres of the country.
In addition, in May 2019 Washington dispatched B-52 warships and strategic bombers to the Middle East to send a “clear and unambiguous message” to Tehran.