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Crushing response awaiting US anti-Iran threats: Military chief

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says the country’s Armed Forces are highly prepared to give a "crushing response to any threat at any level" against the Islamic Republic.

"The false assumptions that the US president has about the astonishing capabilities of the brave Iranian nation and the Armed Forces will never come true," Baqeri said in a statement on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and that he planned to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Trump on Monday threatened Iran with hardship “the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” as Washington launched a new campaign in cooperation with the regime in Tel Aviv meant to foment unrest in the Islamic Republic.

Trump's pugnacious message on his official Twitter account in all capital letters late Sunday came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's warning to him not to “twist the lion’s tail” after the US unveiled a series of measures which amount to a declaration of war.

Baqeri further said the Iranian nation has maintained its unity over the past four decades in dealing with the enemies, particularly the "criminal US" and the Zionist regime as well as their mercenaries in the region and across the world, and succeeded in thwarting all their plots and would achieve a decisive victory against them.

The senior military commander said Iran has never waged a war against any country and wants peace and stability in the region, adding that the Islamic Republic has maintained cordial relations with its neighboring states and used its deterrent power and defensive might to help promote regional peace and repel any act of aggression.

"As the dominant power in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, (Iran) has always been the guarantor of the security of shipping and the global economy in this vital waterway and has the power to take action against any scheme in this region," Baqeri pointed out.

"As correctly mentioned in remarks by [Iran's] president, the enemies, particularly America, whose bases and interest are within the overt and covert reach of the defense power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, should not twist the lion's tail," he said.

"Because they will receive a strong, unimaginable and regret-inducing response of great magnitude in the region and the world," the commander added.

Baqeri warned that the new US economic and oil sanctions against Tehran would endanger the interests of Washington and its puppets.

He emphasized that the Iranian Armed Forces are fully prepared to nip in the bud any threat against the country.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed Washington’s latest tirade of threats against Iran as mere “psychological warfare,” saying the US administration’s “excessive anger” stems from its increasing isolation on the global stage.

“Due to their lack of awareness about the depth of political affairs and diplomacy, some politicians use certain words, whose meaning they do not know,” the official said, adding, "In today’s world, such manner of bragging amounts to idle talk, and does not warrant attention.”

A senior US State Department official said late in June that the countries purchasing oil from Iran should prepare themselves to completely stop the Iranian crude imports by November as Washington re-imposes sanctions against Tehran.  

The US official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Tuesday that Washington seeks “to isolate streams of Iranian funding” for the Islamic Republic’s “malign behavior across the region."

Earlier, and on a trip to Europe, Rouhani had said that if Iran is made incapable of selling its oil, so will other countries in the region — a relatively implicit statement that was taken to mean that Iran may block its waters in the Strait of Hormuz, through which many international oil cargoes pass.

On Sunday, he repeated that threat — this time unambiguously, saying, "No one with even a basic understanding of politics will ever say, ‘We will block Iran’s oil exports,’" and reminded America that, “We have many straits; the Strait of Hormuz is but one.”

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