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Ex-IRGC chief warns: Iran can turn US aircraft carriers into sinking submarines in case of attack

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

A top military adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned the United States to avoid making any mistakes, saying Iran is capable of striking US aircraft carriers so hard that they would go down like submarines.

“Iran is capable of turning US aircraft carriers into submarines in a few hours,” Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned, but at the same time he expressed hope that nothing would happen in the final weeks of US President Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We will never initiate a war, but we will respond decisively and with our utmost power and readiness if anyone attacks Iran,” said Rahim Safavi, who is a former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The general made the remarks as Iran marks the first anniversary of the martyrdom of its world-renowned commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone raid on January 3, 2020, while in Baghdad in an official visit. Soleimani’s Iraqi trenchmate Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi anti-terror force, was also martyred in the Trump-ordered terrorist attack.

Tensions have been running high between Washington and Tehran in recent weeks, partly because of fears in Washington of attacks on its positions in West Asia during the martyrdom anniversary of the two popular commanders.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rahim Safavi said General Soleimani managed to expand Iran’s area of influence from Iraq to Syria, Lebanon and the Mediterranean, which inflicted a “strategic defeat” on the Americans.

But, he continued, “I think the general’s martyrdom was even a bigger defeat [for the Americans]," explaining that the assassination exposed the true face of the American rulers to the world.

“Suddenly, all nations of the world were able to see the naked face of the Americans” who claimed to champion democracy and freedom, Rahim Safavi remarked.

He also said as the Leader and commanders know, the revenge for Soleimani’s assassination still remains to be taken.

Following Soleimani’s assassination, Iran vowed to exact its “tough revenge” on the US, and it delivered on that promise five days later when it overtly targeted the US air base of Ain al-Assad in the western Iraqi province of Anbar.

Iran says that its “tough revenge” is not over yet, with top officials noting that only the expulsion of all American forces from the region would meet that end.

US fearing change in global balance of power 

Meanwhile, the IRGC’s Deputy Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani said the US carried out the assassination out of fear of a change in the world’s balance of power.

It was an act of revenge against the Iranian nation, he said on Saturday.

"This retaliation is sometimes in the form of assassinations of nuclear scientists or explosions and bombings, and sometimes in the form of sanctions," he added.

Foreign military presence source of instability in region 

Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, on Saturday described the presence of foreign forces in the region as a source of instability, sedition and provocation.

Such presence must end, Tangsiri emphasized, saying that Iran and other Persian Gulf countries are able to work together to establish maritime security in regional waters.

He also said Iran is closely monitoring every move of the enemies in the region.

Iran insists on foreign troops pullout 

Separately, Iranian president’s chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, also said Iran’s main response to the assassination would be to drive all American forces out of the region.

Pointing to the barrage of missiles that Iran unleashed on Ain al-Assad on January 8, 2020, Vaezi said the attack was Iran’s “clear message” to the Americans that any aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran will not go unanswered.

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