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IRGC Deputy Commander: We Settle Scores On A Daily Basis

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The IRGC’s deputy commander for operations, General Abbas Nilforoushan has said the IRGC keeps tabs on its enemies’ activities and settles scores with them on a regular basis.

Nilforoushan told Etemad Online website in Tehran this week that the enemies are aware of IRGC’s policy, which appears different from Revolutionary Guard’s declared strategy about its retaliatory measures. Chief Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari announced in 2016 that IRGC’s retaliation policy was not to react immediately, but act at a time and place of its choosing.

That was part of its asymmetrical warfare doctrine which often brought the Guards under criticism for “inaction” against attacks on their forces particularly in Syria.

The United States has launched precision strikes in the past few weeks against IRGC-linked bases in Syria and Iraq, as Israel has targeted senior officers based in Syria.

Nilforoushan now says that no attack on Iran’s interests will remain unanswered, adding that Iran’s response will come “on the spot” exactly where the attacks have taken place. This comes while since the killing of IRGC Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, in 2020, IRGC has been criticized both in Iran and abroad for failing to properly respond.

Nilforoushan claimed that during the past 45 years, the IRGC has been striving to create some sort of balance with its enemies in terms of combat operations, influence and image building. He reiterated that IRGC’s arch enemy during this period was the United States.

A drone belonging to IRGC-backed Houthis in Yemen

He boasted that unlike the pre-1979 era, when Iran was dependent on the United States, during the past 45 years, the Islamic Republic has become the biggest missile power in West Asia. Nilforoushan further claimed that the region’s geopolitics has effectively changed as Iran became a regional power. He boasted that Iran, China and Russia were the world’s strongest powers while US power has been diminishing.

The senior IRGC officer further claimed that the United States is not likely to remain a big power in the future, insisting that the most the US can do is to prevent its own downfall.

In the wake of the Israeli-Hamas conflict, some Iranian hardliners have boasted about Iran’s increased military strength. However, simultaneously, they have begun retracting previous assertions regarding Iran’s influence over proxy groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Recently, Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahid, emphasized that the United States must acknowledge its waning ability to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations.

Vahidi made the statement while US attacks on pro-Iranian militia positions in Iraq, Syria and Yemen were widely welcomed both in the region and in the international community as a measure in the interest of security of the region and international commercial navigation.

Meanwhile, former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaei has said the United States has come to the conclusion that it can restore security in the region only with the cooperation of the Islamic Republic, which has stayed out of direct involvement in the current conflict.

Rezaei also denied Iran’s influence among its proxy groups in the region and said Iran was not involved in their attacks on US bases in the region. He claimed that Iran’s influence is mainly about deterring attacks on the Islamic Republic.

In his interview, Nilforoushan emphasized that Israel has recognized the unlikelihood of a direct military clash between Iran and the United States. He asserted that Israel has also acknowledged its incapacity for a military showdown with the Islamic Republic and has opted to engage Iran solely in the ambiguous realms between other conflicts.

Furthermore, Nilforoushan emphasized the imperative for Iran to safeguard its intelligence assets and prevent their compromise to external entities. However, he overlooked the numerous Israeli assaults on Iranian installations in Syria and Israel’s evident intelligence advantage concerning Iran’s nuclear endeavors.