Cleric calls Iran’s defense power, national unity deterrent factor against US

Tasnim – Tehran’s Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Hojjatoleslam Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi Fard highlighted recent defeats of the US government in the face of Iran and said the Islamic Republic’s defense power and national unity prevent the enemy from mounting any attack.

“The deterrent factor (against) the US attack on the geography of Islamic Iran includes the glorious defensive power, the powerful front of the Islamic Resistance, and the national unity and solidarity of the Iranian nation, which is inspired by Imam Khomeini’s political thought and the… logic of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution,” Hojjatoleslam Aboutorabi Fard said, addressing a gathering of worshipers here in Tehran on Friday.

“In my opinion, the US and the Zionist regime and their neighbors understand only the language of power,” the cleric added.

“Countries that want to defend their national interests against extremists should be adorned with political, scientific, defense and economic power and protect their interests through a language rooted in power,” Aboutorabi Fard went on to say.

The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters and also recent attacks by Yemeni forces on Saudi oil facilities, with Washington and Riyadh claiming Iran was behind them.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.

The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.

Tensions between the US and Iran escalated further after Yemeni armed forces conducted a large-scale operation against Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil installations last month, in response to the Saudi-led war on their country.

The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement immediately took credit for the attacks, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. Tehran categorically rejected the allegations.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia claimed that the strikes on its oil infrastructure came from the “north” and were “unquestionably” sponsored by Iran, adding that the Houthis were not responsible for the assault despite claiming it.

Shortly after the Saudi announcement, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, however, reiterated it was behind the weekend attack, stressing that the Houthis have new drones, powered by “normal and jet engines” that can reach targets deep in Saudi Arabia.

“Our forces have reached a high level of efficiency and ability. They can manufacture various types of unmanned aerial vehicles in record time. The Second Deterrent Balance Operation, which targeted Saudi oil installations, is a perfect example of the capabilities of our forces in terms of planning and implementation,” Brigadier General Yahya Saree said during a press conference in the capital Sana’a.