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    FILE -- In this Dec. 29, 2016 file photo, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf, Iran

    Revolutionary Guard Chief: US Threats 'Hollow', Tehran 'Has Power to Respond'

    © AP Photo / Amir Kholousi, ISNA
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    The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commander's remarks come amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington over the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and increasingly hostile relations between Iran and Israel over Syria.

    IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari has countered President Trump's all-caps Tweet about Iran facing "consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before."

    "Military threats raised by the enemies are not very serious and are hollow, and we have the power to respond to them," Jafari said, speaking to a group of students in Tehran Friday morning, PressTV has reported.

    According to the senior officer, Iran's enemies are more focused on trying to undermine the country through what he called "soft war."

    "Threats and sanctions today by the enemies have reached their heights," Jafari said. "However, the only threat that they would not put into action is the military one, because if they carry out military aggression, it would entail huge costs for them."

    Jafari's remarks come in the wake of President Trump's threat against the country last Sunday, as well as reports that Australian officials believe Trump may be ready to strike Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as next month.

    Trump's angry tweet came on the heels of remarks by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who warned Washington that "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars."

    Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international deal co-sponsored by the US, Russia, China, the European Union and several European powers, in May, and vowed to reimpose sanctions against Iran which had been lifted as part of the deal. The measures include a ban on Iran's purchase of US dollars for use in trade (to be set into play next month), as well as sanctions against countries or companies which purchase Iranian crude oil. The latter are expected to enter force in November.

    Tensions between Iran and the US are also connected to Tehran's worsening relations with Tel Aviv, which actively lobbied Trump to cancel the nuclear deal. Israel has also expressed concerns with the presence of Iranian forces or their Hezbollah allies in Syria. Tehran maintains that its presence in the war-torn country is legal, and limited to an advisory capacity in supporting Damascus in its fight against Islamist terrorists. 


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