Iran has issued a number of threats on Friday following official charges made by leaders in Tehran that Saudi Arabia and the UAE funded a terrorist attack on a military parade in a southwest district last Saturday which killed 25 people, including members of the elite Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
Iranian military officials declared “red lines” against the two Gulf countries, threatening war, while in a separate statement a senior cleric said US regional bases will not be safe if “America does anything wrong”.
“If America does anything wrong, their bases around Iran would not remain secure,” Ayatollah Mohammadali Movahedi Kermani was quoted as saying by Mizan news agency while leading Friday prayers in Tehran.
And simultaneously the Fars news agency quoted Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the IRGC, as saying in reference to the Saudis and Emirates: “If you cross our red lines, we will surely cross yours. You know the storm the Iranian nation can create.”
IRGC Gen. Salami was also addressing the crowd during Friday prayers in Tehran: “Stop creating plots and tensions. You are not invincible. You are sitting in a glass house and cannot tolerate the revenge of the Iranian nation…We have shown self-restraint,” he said in a fiery speech.
Salami didn’t stop at Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but told the United States to “stop supporting the terrorists or they will pay the price”. The elite IRGC has collectively vowed to exact “deadly and unforgettable” vengeance after some of its members were killed in the Ahvaz attack. During the large funeral ceremony for victims of the attack on Monday, Salami had vowed to strike back against the “triangle” of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.
Iran had previously also accused the US of providing support to the gunmen that carried out last weekend’s attack despite Washington’s firm denials that it has any links to the incident. This follows years of Tehran blaming Washington and its Gulf allies for the rise of ISIS and other radical Sunni terror groups.
There’s been some level of confusion and contradictory claims of responsibility after the incident, however, with both a regional Ahvaz separatist group and ISIS claiming responsibility. Iran now says it has members of those involved in the plot in custody.
The bellicose words on Friday further come after Israeli PM Netanyahu spoke before the UN General Assembly the day before, claiming a new atomic weapons development facility in Tehran; something which US intelligence officials have already publicly doubted, according to statements made to Reuters.