Former Iranian diplomat Seyyed Hadi Seyyed Afghahi said in a November 24, 2021 interview on Al-Alam TV (Iran) that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has threatened Iran with military action ahead of the Vienna negotiations, but that he is releasing hot air, because if the U.S. initiates war with Iran, then all the American bases and armies will be destroyed. He threatened: "Their body parts will be shipped [back] to the U.S." Afghahi also said that the U.S. is applying pressure on Iran ahead of the talks, but that this will not deter Iran, because it is "in the right." For more about Afghahi, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 9169, No. 8977, No. 8163, and No. 7945.
Seyyed Hadi Seyyed Afghahi: "Even before [U.S. CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth] McKenzie spoke, Secretary of Defense Austin gave a speech in Manama, in which he warned that 'there are other options.' When a Secretary of Defense is talking about 'other options,' he means the military option. Let me explain why the U.S. has stooped to this level of political bankruptcy, and why it releases all this hot air. They know that if they want to activate the military option or engage in what is now called 'playing on the edge of the abyss,' it will ignite the entire region.
"They also know that they may start the war, but ending it will not be in their hands. They know that if they want to commit any foolish act, all their bases and armies will be destroyed, and their body parts will be shipped back to America.
"They know that the international community is not on their side…"
Interviewer: "If they know all this, then what is the aim of all these threats now, on the eve of the nuclear talks in Vienna?"
Seyyed Hadi Seyyed Afghahi: "It is all about psychological pressure, provocation, and creating tension, in order to make the international community exert pressure on Iran, saying: 'Iran, make a few concessions in order to reach a breakthrough,' even though they made threats in the past and have even conducted cyber attacks, assassinations, and terrorist attacks against our installations, but Iran did not surrender, because it is in the right."