In a public address delivered on Friday, Iranian General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Aerospace Corps, said America has always been an enemy of Iran and will always remain so, adding the Islamic regime could impose sanctions when the time comes.
A clip of the address, originally broadcast on Iran’s Noor TV, shows Hajizadeh speaking from a podium at the annual memorial service for IRGC bomb squad casualties in Syria, and describing the U.S. as Iran’s eternal foe.
“America has never been our friend,” he said. “It was, is, and forever will be our enemy, because our interests do not intertwine.”
Iranian General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh: America Has Never Been the Friend of Iran – It Has Been Our Enemy and Will Remain Our Enemy; We Can Bring the Day When Iran Can Impose Sanctions on Them #Iran #IRGC #JCPOA pic.twitter.com/c2XgekfWE9
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) July 5, 2021
Quoting Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the general reiterated the permanent nature of the Islamic republic’s conflict with the West.
“The late imam (Khomeini) said that the relations between Iran and the U.S. are like the relations between a wolf and a sheep,” he said. “They will never be normalized.”
Claiming that Iran does not seek conflict, Hajizadeh maintained his country’s interests need not be tied to the claim that “our problems must be resolved through America.”
He also claimed that Iran was entirely self-sufficient on matters of defense and suggested the “enemy’s” pronouncements be examined.
“The enemy is saying: After the [Iran nuclear deal] we should negotiate the following issues… We should negotiate Iran’s regional presence,” he said.
“If the enemy had had the power and ability to stop these things, it would have done so,” he added.
Addressing why the American “enemy” is “begging” Iran to halt its nuclear program, Hajizadeh claimed that it had no choice.
“Wherever the enemy can stop us rather than beg, it does so. In this case, it cannot, because everything has become Iranian-made,” he said.
“We can bring the day when we impose sanctions on them, if we want to. We don’t really know how to do those dirty things, but I’d like to say that we can obtain this power,” he added.
The general’s statements come as the Biden administration is accused of wasting diplomatic leverage built over the last four years, as it eases sanctions without receiving adequate commitments in return.
Last month, the Biden administration lifted sanctions on several former Iranian officials and companies in an effort to ease pressure on the Islamic regime as negotiations over a nuclear deal continue.
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime is refusing to provide data from its nuclear sites to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declaring last Sunday that it would no longer cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency after its temporary monitoring agreement expired last Thursday.
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blasted President Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East, claiming the president was being “played” by Iran and that a war between Iran and Israel could be looming.
“Here’s the gameplan — number one, the Iranians are playing President Biden like a fiddle,” he said.
The Ayatollah is a religious Nazi. Hitler wanted a master race. The Ayatollah wants a master religion. They’re trying to drive us out of Syria and Iraq so they can dominate Syria, Iraq and Iran — the Shia Crescent. They’re trying to build a nuclear weapon to hold the world hostage and one day destroy the state of Israel. They’re on the path to accomplish all of that unless we make a correction now. I’ve never been more worried than I am right now about a war between Iran and Israel.
Following the mid-June election of Iranian hardliner Ebrahim Raisi as the next Iranian president, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned against Iran’s “regime of executioners” obtaining a nuclear bomb, adding Raisi’s election should be a “wake up call” for western powers hoping to resuscitate the tattered nuclear deal.
In June, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to attempts to rejoin the nuclear deal and scrap sanctions by warning that “the Biden administration is about to empower the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism again.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.