Iran’s Revolutionary Guards say they will confront Israel ‘wherever necessary’
Esmail Ghaani, who heads the Al-Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Thursday that the Islamic Republic will confront Israel “wherever necessary”, according to a report by the semi-official agency. official Nour News.
“Wherever we identify a Zionist threat, we will confront them harshly,” said Ghaani, whose militia is the IRGC’s operational arm beyond Iran’s borders. “They are too small to face us,” he said, according to Reuters.
The Al-Quds Force commander – who took over from Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike in January 2020 – said that “the destruction of [Israel] gaining momentum” and promised to provide support to any group fighting the “Zionist regime”, the report said.
Last month, the IRGC took responsibility for a number of missiles fired at several locations in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, including what it called an Israeli ‘strategic centre’ .
According to the Guard’s statement, the attack appears to be in retaliation for the deaths of two IRGC commanders in a suspected Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital Damascus a week earlier.
Later that month, a senior Iranian general warned that Tehran would take immediate revenge if Israel killed any of its soldiers.
The IRGC has become the focus of an ongoing debate between Iran and the United States as part of negotiations to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Tehran demanded that the IRGC be removed from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations as a condition to reinstate the deal, going so far as to threaten to risk the entire negotiations.
But the US has indicated it will not be convinced by the Iranian request, with the Washington Post recently quoting a US official saying the Biden administration will not remove the IRGC from its terror list even if it turns out to be a deal breaker. for the relaunch of the nuclear agreement.
Separately, the United Nations atomic watchdog said on Thursday it had installed surveillance cameras to monitor a new centrifuge workshop at Iran’s Natanz underground site after a request from Tehran, even as diplomatic efforts to restore its tattered nuclear deal seems to have stalled.
The start of work at the new workshop comes after Iran’s Karaj centrifuge facility was the target of what Iran described as a sabotage attack in June. Natanz herself has been targeted twice in sabotage attacks amid uncertainty over the nuclear deal, assaults Tehran has blamed on Israel.