Iran Guards chief says Americans have started 'psychological war'

The US has concentrated naval power and B-52s in the Persian Gulf in recent days.

May 13, 2019 02:41
2 minute read.
A military vehicle carrying Iranian Zoobin smart bomb (L) and Sagheb missile under pictures of Iran'

A military vehicle carrying Iranian Zoobin smart bomb (L) and Sagheb missile under pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)


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Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami attended a closed session of parliament in Tehran on Sunday, according to Iranian media reports. The newly-appointed head of the IRGC, which Washington views as a terrorist organization, said that the US is not strong enough to start a war with Iran because it has not deployed enough forces in the region.

Salami gave his assessment to parliament in a closed session. Yet Iranian media received reports about the discussion, to reassure the country that war is not imminent. The US has concentrated naval power and  B-52s in the Persian Gulf in recent days, warning that any attack by Iran or its proxies would be met with a military response. Iran takes this seriously, with Tasnim News expressing concern about US President Donald Trump’s “crazy” behavior.

Briefing members of parliament about the status of Iran’s ground forces and air force, Salami said that since 2007, the IRGC has been responsible for securing the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. That means that it would face the brunt of any attack by the US in that area and must tread carefully so as not to provoke the Americans.

Air force and ground force commanders also allegedly took part in the closed-door meeting. These included experts on air force capabilities and also the anti-ship ballistic missiles that Iran has developed. Salami looked at the psychological strategy of the US, and its naval movements. Reports noted the US buildup of forces. But Salami was confident that America does not have the forces in the region yet to begin a real war. He estimated that Washington is playing a a psychological game. Parliamentarians responded that US forces in the Gulf were already scheduled to be there. For many years, America has had an aircraft carrier in the Gulf, the reports noted.

The comments by Salami were in contrast to those by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who has termed US sanctions a form of “all-out war.” However, Salami’s views appear to dovetail with wider caution among Iranian allies. Asaib Ahl al-Haq stressed on Sunday that they would refrain from attacking US-led coalition forces in Iraq, according to local reports. Iran is carefully monitoring the US posture and is concerned that this time, Washington may not be bluffing. Its attempts to figure out the “psychological” component of Trump’s plan suggest that the mullah regime does not firmly grasp what may come next.

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