FARS News Agency
November 25, 2011
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Egypt and other Arab countries where people are toppling US puppet regimes are becoming new Irans.
“A number of major (new) Irans have been born in the region today. Egypt is a (new) Iran, whether you (the US-led West) accept it or not,” Commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani told a gathering of 50,000 Basij forces in the Southern city of Kerman.
He further drew parallels between the popular uprisings in several Arab countries and Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, and addressing the United States, said, “Know that today Libya, Yemen and Bahrain are also (new) Irans.”
These “great nations will stand together against the threat” of western powers, he said.
The Quds commander also responded to comments by two neo-conservative military experts in Congress suggesting, in a hearing in late October, that the United States should assassinate senior Revolutionary Guards commanders, including Soleimani. “To those who think threats will spread fear amongst us, I will say this: that I ask God to grant me martyrdom at the hands of the enemy,” he said.
“I do not see (an assassination) as a threat but rather giving, helping along an old desire (for being martyred for God),” he added.
In shocking remarks, several US state and military officials in late October told a hearing of the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee that Washington should start terror attacks on the lives of Iranian officials, specially the top commanders of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“I’m saying we put our hand around their throat right now in every interest they have,” retired US Army general Jack Keane told the House hearing.
Former CIA agent Reuel Marc Gerecht, now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think-tank, said, “I don’t think that you are going to really intimidate these people, get their attention, unless you shoot somebody.”
Keane pointed to US allegations that the IRGC’s Quds Force took part in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in Washington and pushed for assassinating “Quds Force top commanders”.
The retired general said Washington should carry out “cyber-attacks” against “selected military and economic interests inside of Iran,” seize its assets, look into “denying their ships entry to ports around the world,” work to isolate Tehran’s central bank, and support Iranian dissident movements.
“And let’s not wring our hands. If the international community doesn’t want to step up to it, we go without them,” said Keane.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican declared “nothing should be taken off the table” – leaving open the possibility of military action.
The comments came after the United States alleged earlier in October that the IRGC plotted to assassinate the Saudi envoy to Washington by hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million.
Iran has strongly denied any involvement in the US alleged plot.
Political and military analysts even in the US have all rejected the Washington claims about the terror plot, and cautioned that the call by certain US officials at the House hearing meant “declaring war on Iran”.