A senior commander in Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has said that his forces have “buried many” like Donald Trump, and the US President’s threats against Iran will “damage” America.
“We are not a war-mongering country. But any military action against Iran will be regretted … Trump’s threats against Iran will damage America … We have buried many … like Trump and know how to fight against America,” the Tasnim news agency quoted deputy Quds commander, Brigadier-General Esmail Ghaani, as saying.
The IRGC is Iran’s most powerful security entity and wields control over large swathes of Iran’s economy as well as considerable influence within its political system.
Mr Trump is likely to take a major step against the international nuclear deal with Iran on Friday, laying out a more aggressive approach to Iranian activities in the Middle East that risks upsetting US relations with European allies.
“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Mr Trump said in a White House statement that flagged key elements of the strategy.
He is to present his plan at the White House, the product of weeks of internal discussions between him and his national security team.
US officials said Mr Trump is expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers, one he has called the “worst deal ever” as it was not, in his view, in the US national interest.
Mr Trump has found himself under immense pressure as he considers de-certifying the deal, a move that would ignore warnings from inside and outside his administration that to do so would risk undermining US credibility abroad.
He had formally reaffirmed it twice before but aides said he was reluctant to do so a third time.
Mr Trump is also expected to announce some kind of action against the IRGC, the country’s most powerful security entity. Trump is under a legal mandate to impose US economic sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards as a whole by 31 October or waive them.
U.S. sanctions could seriously hurt the IRGC as it controls large swaths of Iran’s economy, and could push Iran towards walking away from the nuclear deal. The Quds Force, is under US sanctions, as is the Quds Force commander, other officials and associated individuals and entities.