Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari (File)

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has agreed with Donald Trump that Tehran can control the Middle East within 12 minutes.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari told Yemeni TV on Friday, “If in the past we could defend southwest Asia…in 12 minutes, we can do it now in a shorter time.”

Trump told a rally in Iowa last Tuesday that he had halted a supposed Iranian threat by ripping up the 2015 nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia): “Look at Iran, before I got there [the White House], Iran was going to take the Middle East in about 12 minutes, right?”

Jafari pushed back yesterday, “Iran will never avoid giving response beyond its borders if its security is put in danger.”

He also insisted, despite Iran’s serious economic problems, that imminent comprehensive US sanctions will not affect Iran: “Despite the sanctions, we have managed to achieve self-sufficiency and strengthen our national solidarity.”

Full US restrictions, including on Iran’s energy and financial sectors, take effect from November 5.

Iran Daily, Oct 12: Supreme Leader to Officials — Solve Our Economic Problems

Jafari’s defiance followed Thursday’s statement by another Guards commander that “more than 1000 terrorist conspiracies have been thwarted within a month”.

Morteza Mirian, the head of ground operations, said that in one case “enemies” spent “about $20 million” to ship a bomb “from the East” and detonate it in Tehran, and that “suicide bombers have tried to drive explosive-loaded trucks into Tehran during the [holy] month of Muharram”

Mirian said a “Mullah Mohammad Shahi” had issued a “jihadi fatwa” to disrupt religious ceremonies in September, without giving any further details to confirm the claim.

“Tel Aviv Levelled to Ground”

On Thursday, Jafari specifically challenged Israel, “Iran is going to stand side by side the Lebanese Hezbollah until Israel is totally annihilated.”

His threat was echoed by the Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, “Washington should know that If it makes a wrong move and pushes Israel and Saudi Arabia towards a war with Iran, Tel Aviv will be levelled to the ground.”