A top Iranian military commander said on Thursday that the Islamic Republic is ready for a war with the United States amid growing tensions following Iranian-backed attacks on American outposts in Iraq.
Major General Hossein Salami, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, warned in remarks that Iran is prepared to defeat the United States in an armed conflict.
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The prospect of a full-scale war between the two countries has been brewing for weeks as Iranian-backed militias in Iraq attacked American outposts and personnel. The Trump administration recently launched a retaliatory attack on sites controlled by Iranian forces.
"We are powerful and ready for defeating the U.S. several other times and we are not worried about the U.S. threats and it is them who should be worried," Salami said in yet another escalation of words. "The Iranian nation has not started war in the past incidents but it annihilates any aggressor and the U.S. is aware of this."
Iraqi protesters backed by the Iranian government have taken to the streets in recent days, sparking clashes around the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad. The violence followed an attack on a U.S. outpost that killed one American contractor, which led to the United States bombing facilities the Trump administration said were under control of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militia force. Since Monday, protesters have swarmed the U.S. embassy, firing guns and attempting to set the facility on fire.
Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei also adopted a war posture in remarks this week, telling President Donald Trump that he cannot do anything about Iran's meddling in Iraqi affairs.
"That guy [Trump] has tweeted that they see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and will respond to Iran," Khamenei was quoted as saying during remarks in Tehran. "Firstly, you can't do a damn thing since this issue is not related to Iran and secondly, you should be logical and come to find the root causes; of course you are not logical."