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Monday 24 June 2019 - 05:42

US must act responsibly to protect lives of its forces: Senior Iranian commander

Story Code : 801149
Photo of the wreckage of a US spy drone shot down by the IRGC air defense forces over Iranian airspace on June 20, 2019.
Photo of the wreckage of a US spy drone shot down by the IRGC air defense forces over Iranian airspace on June 20, 2019.

The remarks by the commander of the Central Headquarters of the Khatam-al Anbiya Headquarters came on Sunday, a few days after the elite force shot down an American spy drone, which ignored the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)'s repeated warnings and intruded into the country’s airspace.

Major-General Gholam-Ali Rashid, who was visiting the command and control center responsible for the IRGC Aerospace Division’s radars and missile systems, urged the US administration to “avoid wrongful behavior in the region.”

He called on Washington to avoid any "misconduct” to ensure the safety of its soldiers in the region and prevent any risk to their lives.

“The US administration must act responsibly to protect the lives of American forces by avoiding misconduct in the region,” Rashid stated.

The IRGC specified the downed intruding aircraft as a sophisticated US-made Global Hawk, saying it was brought down over the southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

The Corps, however, spared a second spy plane carrying 35 passengers, which was accompanying the drone.

Rashid further said Tehran “has never pursued and will not pursue war, but we will powerfully defend the honorable Iranian nation’s interests against whatever threat or incursion.”

The senior general warned that if a conflict erupts in the region, no country will be able to control its scale and timing.

Given the interconnected nature of the regional countries’ fates, a potential conflict could hardly be contained within a certain country’s borders, he cautioned.

The Islamic Republic, he added, was engaged in a “strategic confrontation to preserve its stability and existence as well as its position as a regional power in the face of an American-Zionist-Saudi coalition.”

The general was pointing to Washington’s close cooperation and alliance with the Israeli and Saudi regimes as it pushes ahead with an antagonistic agenda against the Islamic Republic.

“Either we will all move on the path of stability or the region will be engulfed by instability and war due to America’s interventionist policies and provocations of certain known states,” Rashid added. “To avert war, mere words are not enough; they need to be followed by determination and proper behavior.”

The United States has been escalating tensions with Iran under President Donald Trump. Leading a signature policy of “maximum pressure,” the US quit a United Nations-ratified nuclear agreement between Iran and six world states. It then proceeded to restore the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.

Washington has, in addition, sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber task force, an amphibious assault ship, and some 1,500 more forces to the region.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon approved deployment of an extra 1,000 reinforcements. Two days later, the Pentagon also said it was dispatching more Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and aircraft to the Middle East alongside the reinforcements.

The US has cited, what it calls, alleged intention by Iran to target the American interests in the region for the alarming escalation.

Tehran has rejected harboring any such malevolence, warning that the region cannot take another conflict as a result of Washington’s reckless measures.
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