Saturday, November 22, 2008

Iranian Commander’s remarks at Week of Basij

From Fars News Agency:
The Bush administration has created the required infrastructure for attacking Iran and delivered his war plan to Obama, a senior Iranian military official said Saturday, adding that Obama's election has provided Iran with a one-year opportunity to increase preparedness.

Addressing a meeting to mark the start of the Week of Basij (mobilization of volunteer forces), lieutenant commander of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Gholam-Ali Rasheed said that US President George Bush has established the infrastructures required in the region for posing a threat to Iran.

"The United States' threats have now found a structural form. They have done the planning for reaching the necessary preparedness to wage a war (against Iran) through setting up military bases, holding (security) pacts, etc.," he said.

The General viewed "northwestern and southeastern Iran as well as the southwestern province of Khuzestan as vulnerable points" the US forces are likely to use if they want to invade Iran, and underlined that the aforementioned areas should become invulnerable within the next one year.

He further urged military officials to leave war rhetoric and expression of foreign policy views to politicians and "accelerate measures to boost Iran's deterrent power".

Considering that the country is now under threat, he said, we should consider measures to prevent entering the stage of actual war.

The General's suggestions, that military leaders should leave war rhetoric and expression of foreign policy views to politicians and that measures to prevent actual war should be adopted, are noteworthy. Also interesting is that they were carried by Fars News Agency.

Additional comments by General Rashid were published by PressTV:

"It is utterly simplistic to believe that changing a US administration would transform Washington's ways and means toward the Islamic Republic," said the deputy chairman of Iran's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gholam-Ali Rashid, on Saturday.

The senior Iranian commander said that Washington has vocally advocated 'regime change' in the Islamic Republic and has gone to great lengths to topple the Iranian government.

Major General Rashid said after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, Washington plotted against Middle Eastern nations and planned a velvet revolution in Iran.

"In the past five years, the US has stepped up efforts to target the Iranian government by threats of military attacks or velvet revolutions," said Rashid.

According to the Iranian commander, Washington's Middle East strategies lie in tatters and it is likely for the new US administration to renew its military threats against Tehran.

General Rasheed is obviously skeptical that the new US administrations will bring about a change in US-Iran relations. Expectations from the Iranian military seem to be a change in tactics with the new US President, but with the same end game as previous administrations: regime change in Tehran. That is to say, they are not expecting a security guarantee from the Obama administration.

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