“We are not seeking war but the security of our country is our red line and on the issue, we appease and deal with no one,” Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard said in an address to a congregation of worshippers in Tehran on Friday.
As Iran’s strategic influence in the region is growing, the American power is on the decline and its international image has been shattered, he added.
The commander further pointed to a recent decision by the US to form an alliance in the Persian Gulf and said, “We believe that security of the region can be provided with the cooperation of regional countries and that the presence of trans-regional countries and occupying Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf will challenge the security and create instability.”
The remarks came as the US has announced plans to form a coalition to supposedly protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from what it calls an Iranian threat following a series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.
Washington has accused Iran of having a hand in those attacks, a claim Tehran has strongly rejected. Tehran has warned that such sabotage operations may be part of a general ploy to target Iran amid increasing regional tensions.
The US has asked its allies, including Germany, Japan, France, Britain and Israel, to join the coalition.
The call has, however, not been warmly received, with Israel and Britain becoming the only parties which have said flat out that they would join the alliance.
Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said on August 7 that the regime would be part of such the US-led coalition to “protect the security of the Persian Gulf.” Katz claimed that Israel was determined to stop “Iranian entrenchment” in the Middle East region and strengthen Tel Aviv’s relationship with Persian Gulf countries.
A day afterwards, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran considered such possible Israeli presence in the region to be a clear threat to its national security, and reserved the right to counter it.