The head of Iran’s armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, has maintained the military’s recent tough-talk campaign, “We are ready for the decisive battle against the US and the Zionist regime.”
Firouzabadi told Fars News, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, “If any war is launched against Iran, we won’t give any ground to the enemy and they themselves know this very well…..These words that they utter now are just political bluffing.”
Iranian officials have escalated their rhetoric after a statement last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry that “military options were still on the table” if Iran did not adhere to November’s interim nuclear deal.
Firouzabadi warned, “If an attack is launched on our troops from any territory, we will invade all the possessions of the enemy.”
Iranian Parliament Speaker’s top adviser for international affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam warned that the Lebanese Resistance Movement’s preparedness to confront any possible Israeli aggression by tens of thousands of missiles.
The message was reinforced by Hossein Sheikholeslam, the advisor to Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani on international affairs, “Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles ready to be fired at Israel.”
Sheikholeslam linked the declaration of strength to Iran’s alliance with Damascus, “The deterrence power of Hezbollah is the result of continued cooperation with former Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and his son Bashar Al-Assad.”
Joint Government Committee Formed Over Abduction of 5 Iranian Border Guards
Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Ali Amiri said on Wednesday that the Interior and Foreign Ministries have established a joint committee to deal with last week’s abduction of five Iranian border guards.
The guards were taken by the Sunni insurgency Jaish ul-Adl, which has carried out a series of attacks since last year in Sistan-Baluchestan Province.
Iranian officials believe the guards were taken across the border into Pakistan. They have summoned the Pakistani Ambassador in Tehran and contacted counterparts in Islamabad over the issue.
State media reports that an Iranian delegation will arrive in Pakistan next week to continue discussions.
Culture Minister: “Principle” of Facebook Account OK, Circumenting Filter for One is Crime
IRGC-affiliated media outlet Tasnim News Agency carried an article commenting on the deployment of two Iranian warships to the Western hemisphere: “These warships may possibly dock at the coast of Venezuela. In military calculations, a logistic warship and combat warship are not considered threats for almost any country but can have psychological and propaganda affects. The docking of Iranian warships at Venezuela’s coast will strengthen bilateral relations and increase Venezuela’s regional power.”
In the latest clarification of policy on social media, Culture Minister Ali Jannati has said “the principle” of having a Facebook account is not a crime — however, circumventing filters on the Internet to post one is a crime.
Jannati spoke to Al Jazeera last month about creating conditions for Iranian “to communicate, keep in touch and exchange ideasI think right now many Iranians are using Facebook….Sooner or later this restriction must be lifted.”
However, sources indicate that President Rouhani has agreed with the Supreme Leader — in return for Ayatollah Khamenei’s support of nuclear talks — that the Government will ease its campaign to open the political and cultural spheres.
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