In a jab at the Rouhani Government, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have denounced “humiliating behavior” towards the US.
The commander of the Guards’ Air Force, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, issued the statement as he discussed the test-firing of a sea-launched ballistic missile. He turned to an incident in February when a Safir missile was removed from a launchpad during a ceremony for the children of slain Iranian troops:
We prepared to launch… a rocket for civilian purposes, but some gentlemen sent the [missile] back to the depot after a threat from America. This is humiliating behavior.
For how long will we pay tribute and compromise? If we do not change our strategy, and [continue to] operate according to the commands of those who “sit in the flowers”, pur situation will deteriorate day by day.
Hajizadeh continued his attack, “[While] the remaining problems are much smaller than previous problems, our fundamental problem is [government] officials’ approach and strategy,” concluding that a “very small number of our people and officials” think that Iran’s “problems will be resolved by relying on and communicating with America”.
The Revolutionary Guards have always been sceptical of the approach taken by President Hassan Rouhani since his election in 2013, including the pursuit of the nuclear discussions with the US and other powers. However, their opposition to the negotiations was curbed by the Supreme Leader’s decision that the talks must proceed to a resolution.
But, with Rouhani facing a re-election battle in May, pressure is building on the Government. Implementation of the nuclear deal for Iran’s economic recovery has been hindered by ongoing US sanctions and internal tensions, a situation exacerbated by Washington’s opposition to Iranian ballistic missile testing.
The Supreme Leader has stepped up his denunciation of the US in the past week, tying it to the forthcoming election and warned of a American-led attempt at “cultural invasion”.
(h/t to Iran Tracker for translations)
TOP PHOTO: Revolutionary Guards head General Mohammad Ali Jafari and President Hassan Rouhani