TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi took a swipe at the US secretary of defense for his recent claims about the Iranian forces’ “ground presence” in regional countries and his warning to Arab states against Tehran’s “influence wielding”.
The top Iranian officer made it clear on Sunday that the Islamic Republic “has no disagreement with any of its neighboring countries over territorial issues and national interests, and its diplomatic relations are in place with all of these countries.”
“Our policy toward neighboring and Muslim countries is (promotion of) Islamic unity and preservation of Muslim interests and independence and sovereignty of all of them,” Major General Firouzabadi added.
His comments came in response to last week’s comments by US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter who called on Washington’s Persian Gulf Arab allies to get involved more actively against Iran.
“If you look at where the Iranians are able to wield influence, they are in the game, on the ground,” Carter said in an interview with the Atlantic, published on November 6. “We don’t like it that they’re in the game on the ground, but they are in the game. There is a sense that some of the (Persian) Gulf states are up there at 30,000 feet.”
Elsewhere in his comments, General Firouzabadi described the US and the “usurper Zionist regime” of Israel as the main enemies of Iran, stressing that Tehran’s defense might is aimed at countering their plots.
He said Carter’s remarks signify his “wrong information and lack of proper understanding of the regional issues.”
The Iranian general also said that the White House and its allies show proclivity to killing Muslims.
The atrocities by the US mercenaries, namely the “Takfiri and Muslim-killing terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and North Africa have apparently not fulfilled their appetite. Thus, they (the US and allies) seek to pit Muslim countries against one another.”