The chief commander of Iran’s Army says the Islamic Republic has the power to defend itself and mount “destructive” counterattacks if it ever comes under any aggression.
“We have never been the initiator of any war and will never be; however, we are not relying solely on defence; in the early stages of the enemy’s attack, we will defend, but our offensive power and our ability to strike the enemy is devastating and will make enemies regret [starting a war],” Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi said, told an event in the northwestern city of Tabriz in East Azerbaijan Province, on Sunday.
According to the commander, Iran’s military proved its “level of adherence to the Revolution’s ideals” during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, and its capabilities have only grown since that time.
“We have never been the starter of any war, but we don’t solely rely on defense either,” he added.
Pointing to Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran in the 1980s, the top commander said, “Today we are much more powerful than that time in defending our ideals and protecting the nation and the country.”
The general noted that the current state of affairs in both the world and the Middle East region calls for higher military preparedness.
Tensions between Iran and Washington escalated sharply after the Iranian shoot-down of a US drone in mid-June, with the US moving a carrier strike group into the Middle East and beefing up its military footprint in the region a month earlier amid an alleged ‘imminent’ Iranian threat to US interests.