Ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's October 13, 2017 speech on his "new Iran strategy," and in light of media speculations that he might announce a decision to put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on the State Department terror list, Iranian spokesmen, especially IRGC commanders, threatened a harsh Iranian response against the U.S. if he did so. In addition the threats of a forceful military attack on U.S. interests and bases in the Middle East, there was also a sharp increase in invective against Trump and his administration.
After Trump refrained from making an announcement on the designation of the IRGC as a terror organization, but sufficed with a general remark about plans to impose new sanctions, apparently targeting IRGC officials, Iranian spokesmen said that the IRGC commanders' threats had been effective and had deterred Trump from making this move.
This report reviews the most prominent statements made on this issue by Iranian officials and in the Iranian press.
IRGC Commander Jafari: U.S. Will Have To Remove Its Bases Outside The 2,000-Kilometer Range Of Our Missiles
IRGC Commander Ali Jafari said on October 8: "If America's new sanctions law [targeting the IRGC] is actualized, America will have to move its military bases outside the 2,000-kilometer range of Iran's missiles. Rumors have it that the U.S. administration is foolish and wishes to designate the IRGC as a terror organization. If this is true, the IRGC will designate the American army throughout the world, and especially in the Middle East, as a comrade in arms of ISIS... America's new sanctions will put a final end to any chance of mutual cooperation [between America and Iran]. These sanctions totally complete our experience in the JCPOA, namely [confirm] that America uses talks as a means of pressure and hostility, not as a means towards mutual cooperation and solving problems."
Qods Force Deputy Commander Qaani: We Have Sent Braggarts Like Trump To Their Graves
A few hours before Trump's speech, Qods Force Deputy Commander Esmail Qaani said: "Trump should know that we have sent many braggarts like him to their graves and that we know very well how to fight America."
Iranian Ambassador To London Baeidinejad: Trump Didn't Dare To Put IRGC On Terror List
Following Trump's speech, Iranian spokesmen made victorious statements, saying that Iran's warnings and threats had deterred Trump from taking the step of designating the IRGC as a terror organization. Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran's ambassador to London and a former member of Iran's nuclear negotiations team, tweeted on October 15: "Trump made an important admission, namely that Iran is the most influential player in the region. Eventually he did not manage to revoke the JCPOA, nor did he dare to include the IRGC in the list of terror organizations."
'Kayhan': U.S. Forces Will Soon Have To Leave Their Bases Because Of IRGC
The daily Kayhan stated on October 14: "Contrary to his promises that the IRGC would be included in the list of terror organizations, Trump explicitly retreated from that position. This retreat can only be a direct result of the IRGC's latest threat that it would [have] a suitable response [to such a move]." On the following day, Kayhan stated that "apparently, it will not be long before we see American forces having to leave their permanent and temporary bases and hand them over to the governments in the region, thanks to the clout of the IRGC and the popular militias affiliated with it."
IRGC Deputy Commander Salami: America Is Requesting The Help Of Its Allies In Controlling The New Powers, Which Proves Its Helplessness In The Face Of The Islamic Revolution
IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said on October 18: "We will never be defeated by our enemies, and that is the truth... The enemy wants to isolate Iran, but Trump's speech isolated America [instead]. There is no more talk about a military option being on the table... Whenever the American president talks this way, his state secretary [Rex Tillerson] and defense secretary [James Mattis] humiliate him, and even the International Monetary Fund does not give him a positive answer...
"Today America is requesting the help of its allies in controlling the new powers, which indicates its helplessness in the face of [Iran's] Islamic Revolution. Some thought that Trump's statements would pressure Iran, but after his speech [it became clear that] Iran and Tehran are like the ocean, and that his statements had no effect whatsoever, just like pebbles falling into a great ocean."
Expediency Council Secretary Rezai: We Are Very Proud That Trump Is Against Us
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai said on October 18: "A stupid president is more dangerous than a crazy one... Today we are facing a man who is the laughingstock of the entire world. We are very proud that Trump is against us. Whoever wants to know Iran should see who opposes it."