Iran, US faceoff ‘clash of wills’: Top commander

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has noted that the current confrontation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the US is an arena for “clash of wills.”

The top Iranian commander made the remark on Thursday in a message issued on the occasion of the liberation the southwestern Iranian port city of Khorramshahr during the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war on Iran (1980-88).

“Now, under conditions that, as put by the sage Leader of the [Islamic] Revolution…, the confrontation and faceoff between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the wicked government of America is an arena for ‘clash of wills,’ reminding the epic victory in Khorramshahr to friends and foes of the Revolution could convey a powerful message,” Baqeri said.

He added, “The translation of that message is stronger and God-based determination of Iran in the face of any possible conflict and warmongering, , which will result in a hard, crushing and destructive response to any bullheaded and adventurist enemy.”

Iranian forces recaptured the strategic port city during a landmark operation code-named Beit ol-Moqaddas in 1982, putting an end to over 500 days of the Iraqi occupation. The victory reinvigorated the Islamic Republic’s will to overcome the United States-backed aggressors, setting the stage for subsequent triumphs.

Elsewhere in his message, Baqeri said the most significant consequence of the wartime victory was coming to light of the fact that Iranians’ resistance and sacrifice “turned the imposed war from a ‘threat’ to a golden and strategic opportunity.”

The Iranian military chief then noted that under the present circumstances, the enemy, which has been “subjugated to Iran’s will,” is seeking recourse to its media outlets to dramatize the threat of an ‘imaginary war’ to scare the Iranian nation and force the country into submission.

“In such sensitive circumstances,” he advised, “a chain of powerful reactions to the enemy’s psychological warfare and displaying [Iran’s] firm determination can further betray the receding nature of the US and its allies’ power.”

The US remarkably stoked tensions with Iran last year by leaving a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran, and then restoring the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal. The US has also dispatched an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber taskforce, and an assault ship to the Persian Gulf, citing an alleged likelihood that Iran could target the American interests in the region.

However, American officials have on many occasions gone back on their markedly belligerent rhetoric by either asserting they are not seeking war with the Islamic Republic or alleging that the “Iranian threat” has been put on hold.

Baqeri’s remarks came a day after the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps likewise downplayed the US’s rhetoric, asserting that despite what Washington was trying to portray, the Islamic Republic’s servicemen enjoyed perfect command over the Persian Gulf.

“Over the past many years, our forces have acquired full control of the Persian Gulf in a way that they (US warships) should get permission from us for their movements in this area,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Wednesday.

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