Iran vows ‘roaring missiles’ if threatened, defies new sanctions
DUBAIA Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran would use its missiles if its security is under threat, as the elite force defied new U.S. sanctions on its missile program by holding a military exercise on Feb. 4.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since a recent Iranian ballistic missile test which prompted U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards.
Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn said the Washington was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilizing activity,” and Trump tweeted Tehran was “playing with fire.”
“We are working day and night to protect Iran’s security,” head of Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency, according to Reuters.
“If we see smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads,” he added.
Despite the heated words, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Feb. 4 he was not considering raising the number of U.S. forces in the Middle East to address Iran’s “misbehavior,” but warned that the world would not ignore Iranian activities.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards held the military exercise in Semnan province on Feb. 4 to test missile and radar systems and to “showcase the power of Iran’s revolution and to dismiss the sanctions,” according to the force’s website.
Meanwhile, Bahram Ghasemi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued a telegram message on Feb. 5 that Iran would issue visas for a U.S. wrestling team to attend the Freestyle World Cup competition, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on the same day.
This was a reversion from a decision announced on Feb. 3 to ban visas for the team in retaliation for an executive order by Trump banning visas for Iranians.
Ghasemisaid that visas would be issued for the Americans partly because of the decision by a U.S. federal judge to “halt the execution of discriminatory restrictions against the entrance of Iranian citizens to America,” IRNA reported.
Ghasemi did not say whether Americans currently holding Iranian visas would be allowed entry to the Islamic Republic or if any new visas would be issued to U.S. citizens.
The Freestyle World Cup is one of wrestling’s most prestigious events and is scheduled for Feb. 16-17 in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah. USA Wrestling had previously said it would send a team to the competition.