ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Amid escalated tensions between Washington and Tehran, two Iranian military commanders on Wednesday claimed the US and its allies fear confrontation with their country and that all foreign forces must leave the area.
“If the criminal America and its Western and regional allies do not dare to carry out a face-to-face military attack on our country, it will be because of the spirit of resistance and sacrifice of the people and the youth,” Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Major General Gholamali Rashid said in a statement.
The IRGC-affiliated Fars News reported earlier Wednesday that the naval wing of the national army, known as the Artesh, would "in the coming days” deploy “to the sea” the 62nd marine unit. According to the Iranian military, the unit is composed of the “Binder Destroyer and support carriers Lavan and Bushehr,” tasked with “maritime missions, security patrols, and confronting pirates.”
The Artesh is responsible for maintaining order and securing the borders from both internal and external threats. It is separate from the IRGC, which has the stated goal of protecting the “Republican system of Iran” and guarding the “1979 Revolution and its achievements.”
Following the announcement, Major General Said Abdul-Rahim Mousavi, head of the Artesh, told Fars News that the security of each Middle Eastern country would be handled by itself and added that “foreigners must leave” the region.
Last year, the US withdrew from the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran signed with major international powers and re-imposed punitive sanctions on the country, crippling its economy. The US has claimed it wants to bring Iran back to the negotiating table to discuss a new deal, a suggestion Tehran has firmly rejected.
Earlier this month, the US announced new rounds of sanctions on Iran’s metal exports and then, in response to purported threats from Tehran and its proxies in the region, deployed more forces to the Middle East, including an amphibious assault ship, B-52 bombers, and a Patriot missile battery.
Senior US officials have stated the measures are meant to deter Iranians from attacking American forces in the region, an effort they claim has been successful thus far.
Editing by John J. Catherine