According to a senior Iranian military commander, U.S. officials encouraged the Islamic Republic to stay mum on illicit missile tests so as not to raise concerns in the region, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.
According to Adam Kredo:
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace and Missile Force, said in recent remarks that the Obama administration does not want Iran to publicize its ongoing missile tests, which have raised questions about the Islamic Republic’s commitment to last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement.
The comments were reportedly made at a conference of religious studies in Qom earlier this month and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute:
“The arrogance [i.e. the U.S.] is trying to create [among us] the belief that Iran is at a crossroads, and that it has no choice but to compromise with America or be eternally subjected to American pressure and the problems that stem from that… At the same time, within Iran the belief has taken root that it is not possible to solve [Iran’s] problems without America…
“If we stand fast against this move by the Americans, who have stolen the funds of the [Iranian] nation, they will abandon this habit [of thievery].But if we compromise with them, the[ir] thievery will end up [taking] $40-$50 billion of Iran’s assets and its blocked funds. The Americans understand only the language of force; they do not understand the language of reason. They cannot be trusted. We must face them down firmly, and we must act. If we do not, we will witness daily their exaggerated and evil demands.
“At this time, the Americans are telling [us]: ‘Don’t talk about missile affairs, and if you conduct a test or maneuver, don’t mention it.’ If we agree to this, they will advance another step, and say: ‘Don’t conduct [a missile test] at this time, and also don’t do it in the Persian Gulf region.’ After that, they will tell us: ‘Why do you need your missiles to have a range of 2,000 km [anyway?]?’
“After that, they will tell [us]: ‘Next, we will check whether your missiles can really carry nuclear weapons. Bring us the details [of the missiles].’ After that, they will say: ‘We need to set up cameras.’ And, finally, they will say: ‘Either saw [the missiles up into pieces] or, like [Libyan dictator Mu’ammar] Gadhafi, load them onto a ship and hand [them] over to us.’
“They are clearly deluding themselves. Nothing like this will ever happen.”
The State Department refused to comment on the statements, saying it doesn’t “comment on public remarks by Iranian officials, and especially IRGC officials.” And, a department official added, “we’re not going to start now.”
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