The commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Americans must leave the region with humiliation or will be forced to flee under conditions worse than what they experienced in Afghanistan.
“As already said, we once again tell the Americans that you should leave the geographical region around us ... taking with you the humiliation you are facing; otherwise, you will be expelled in a way much worse than [what you experienced in] Afghanistan and you will be forced to flee,” Brigadier General Esmail Qa'ani said during a commemoration ceremony in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz on Thursday.
“This is your inevitable fate,” Qa'ani noted. “You should know that gone is the time when you did whatsoever you wished; the time of hit-and-run strikes is over and if you hit, you will have to wait and receive the response in the harshest way possible.”
The IRGC commander said after 20 years of fighting in Afghanistan, the Americans had no choice, but to concede to negotiations and even then, they committed crimes and acts of treachery during the negotiations, and created problems for the Afghan people.
“The Americans established a government in Afghanistan in a matter of 20 years, [and created] a government that could not resist for 20 days [against the onslaught of the Taliban] and they even failed to fly their own people out of the Kabul airport,” Qa'ani said.
Stressing that the US defeat in Afghanistan was the “biggest defeat” for the Americans in the last century, the senior Iranian commander said, “After the Americans... suffered defeat in Afghanistan last year, they raised many marginal and secondary issues so that the world would not realize what disgrace they experienced there.”
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 following the September 11, 2001 attacks. American forces occupied the country for about two decades under the pretext of fighting against the Taliban. But as the US forces left Afghanistan, the Taliban stormed into Kabul, weakened by continued foreign occupation.
The Taliban wrested control of Afghanistan in August after a fierce offensive facilitated by a flash withdrawal of all of the United States’ forces from the country that had been announced by Washington back in April.
The government of Afghanistan rapidly collapsed on August 15, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country in the face of lightning advances of the Taliban.
The group has pledged to allow the formation of a broad-based and representative government. Concerns, however, remain given its drawn-out history of violence.