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Iran won't let war on its soil, will destroy any aggressor: IRGC chief

Major General Hossein Salami, the chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), speaks at Tehran's Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense Museum on September 21, 2019. (Photo by Fars news agency)

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Iran will never allow a war on its soil, adding it will pursue and destroy any aggressor who stages even a limited attack on the country. 

Major General Hossein Salami issued the harsh warning at a public exposition called "Hunting Vultures" where remains of drones downed in Iran and the Iranian air defense system which shot down a US military drone in June were displayed.

"We will hit anyone who violates our borders" and will take responsibility for it, he said, adding Iran has only demonstrated part of its military capability.

The exposition is part of annual events commemorating the start of the 1980-88 imposed war with Iraq, which also includes air and naval displays in the Persian Gulf and military parades on Sunday.

Salami stressed that the Islamic Republic is not worried about the repetition of the enemy's strategic mistakes and is ready to face "any scenarios."

His warning came in the wake of harsh rhetoric by the US after President Donald Trump warned Washington was "locked and loaded” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called attacks on Saudi oil facilities "an act of war” which he blamed on Iran.

"The enemy sometimes speaks about military options, but since the Tabas incident 40 years, when US Delta forces were burnt into ashes, we are the one who speaks," Salami said, referring to the April 1980 failed US military operation in Iran's central Tabas Desert.

“Whoever wants their land to become the main battlefield go ahead. We will never allow any war to encroach upon our territory," Salami said. 

"Be careful, a limited aggression will not remain limited. We will pursue the aggressors until they are vanquished and destroyed. We will not leave any safe place for the invaders," Salami added.

Iran has rejected any involvement in the attacks, which were claimed by Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement. The group has been defending the impoverished country against the Saudi-led invasion over the past four and a half years.

General Amirali Hajizadeh, who heads the IRGC's aerospace branch, said any attacks on Iran would receive "a crushing response".

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