Friday, January 22, 2010

Iran Military Chief Criticizes Defense Minister

Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi today criticized recent comments made by Iran’s defense minister that Iran would hit US naval fleet in the Persian Gulf if its nuclear installations were attacked.

“Before talking about sensitive and dangerous topics, a military commander must consult with appropriate military branch headquarters,” Gen. Firouzabadi said. “It is possible that such talks by politicians might not cost much, but we expect our senior military officers to avoid making emotional and unthoughtful statements.” [Fars News Agency, 22 January]

The defense minister had surprised this blogger at the toughness of the statement he had made on Wednesday. Gen. Firouzabadi’s statement today goes a long way to clear any misunderstanding caused by the rookie defense minister.

In another part of his interview, Gen. Firouzabadi also criticizes US military leaders for their recent statements on Iran.

“Although US military leaders had been on record saying an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be extremely dangerous and would make the region unsafe for the US, but they continue with their unwise declarations regarding Iranian nuclear facilities,” Gen. Firouzabadi said.

The statement was apparently a response to US Adm. Mullen’s recent declaration that the US military was capable of hitting Iranian nuclear facilities, even though he would not recommend such action.


Mark Pyruz said...

Another good call, Nader.

Interesting that this was left out of the english FARS report.

Higher military rank and seniority obviously trump the lower military rank and position of Defense Minister. A consequence of the executive branch not having direct control over the military, no doubt. An unusual arrangement.

And you know, it's not that extraordinary a remark for a military official to make, in general terms of targeting. Israeli military officials and Defense Ministers seem to offer up such general terms of targeting almost weekly, for potential wars with Iran, Lebanon and Gaza- or so it seems.

One is left to wonder what Sarlashkar Jafari thinks of all this.

Nader Uskowi said...


GEN Firouzabadi has been a voice of moderation in international affairs. If you recall, he came out calling for a negotiated settlement of the uranium enrichment impasse, including an LEU swap. Interestingly, his US counterpart, ADM Mullen, sounds very much as moderate. Senior military officers normally prefer to avoid armed conflicts, they know more than anyone else how costly and unpredictable wars could be.

Jafari has been relatively quite lately on international affairs. He seems to be concentrating more on Green movement these days. I'll try to check the records to see if I can find any recent address by him on the subject.