Amid rising tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, one Iranian military official directed startling threats at America and Israel on television last week.
General Hossein Dehghan, defense affairs adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said Thursday in an interview with Iraqi news station Al-Nujaba TV that Iran will “uproot [Israel] from existence” and put America “in the garbage bin of history” should war break out in the region.
According to nonprofit Middle Eastern press monitor MEMRI TV, Dehghan told al-Nujaba, a station owned and operated by Shi’ite paramilitary group Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, that he did not foresee a full-scale war with the United States as his nation’s military was “not ready” for such a conflict.
Dehghan’s interview came after a week of increased tensions between the two nations, stemming from an attack on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, presumably carried out by Iran, and Iran’s public downing of an American drone.
Tensions began escalating earlier this year when Iran issued an ultimatum to Western nations regarding its 2015 nuclear deal, which was substantially hamstrung when President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2018.
The drone incident initially prompted Trump to order a retaliatory strike against Iran, but it was cancelled shortly before being carried out for fear that the associated causalities would make the response “disproportionate” to Iran’s wrongdoing.
A fully translated version of the former Iranian Defense Minister’s response to last week’s events was released by MEMRI TV on Monday.
“Trump proved once again that he is merely an agent of his administration’s interests, that a war in this region would not be a walk in the park, that the United States is by no means ready for war, and that he completely understands how strong Iran is,” Dehghan told al-Nujaba.
“What we understand from the behavior of the Americans is that they fear very much the break out of a war in the region,” he added.
Dehghan told al-Nujaba TV that it is his belief no war will occur, “not because America does not want war” but because the most decorated military force in history would for some reason be afraid this time around.
He was also quoted as saying that it was not only the United States that fears war with Iran, but local ally Israel, who has been a target for its Islamic neighbors for some time.
The former defense minister sang a tune similar to that of those who have threatened the Jewish nation throughout its history, indicating that the goal of its neighbors would be nothing less than the nation’s complete removal from the map.
“Israel has realized that this war would not be a walk in the park. The flame of this war will move immediately to Israel,” Dehghan said. “Israel knows that Iran will erase its entity and uproot it from existence in case of a war.
“In my personal opinion, this war will not take place – not because America does not want war, but because Iran is strong enough to engage in confrontation. Iran would achieve a great victory, and America would find itself in the garbage bin of history. There would no longer be an Israel on the land of Palestine. We would totally erase it from the face of the earth.”
Among America’s presumed weaknesses, according to the Iranian official, is its high regard for the lives of its soldiers, allies and non-combatant servicepeople — a humanity that Iran does not share with the West, according to Dehghan.
“It has become clear that what is important to the (Americans) is to protect the lives of their soldiers, and the equipment in their bases in the region,” Dehghan said.
“They know full well that most of those bases are within the range of our missiles, and that our military can totally obliterate those bases.”
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