With Western pressure growing on Bashar Assad over the latest massacres of defenseless women and children in Syria, Iranian officials again are warning the world against any action against the Middle East dictator.
The pro-Assad “resistance” has its finger on the trigger and the aggressors will not survive the conflict, a senior commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Brig. Gen. Massoud Jazaeri, told Mashregh, a media outlet run by the Guards. Iranian officials often refer to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon as the resistance front.
Mashregh reported in March that Iran’s armed forces had formed a joint war room that included officers from Syria, Iran and Hezbollah for a coordinated military response to an attack on Syria.
“A conflict in Syria will engulf the region and its main victims will be the people of Syria themselves,” Jazaeri warned the protesters. “The Zionist regime and the interests of the enemies of Syria are all within range of the resistance fire.”
Citing a conspiracy to weaken the resistance front and that foreign hands were involved in the events in Syria, Jazaeri said, “At the right time, people of the region will retaliate against these actions. The defeat of the enemy at this stage will be a big event and, God willing, we will witness that.”
There have been several reports alluding to the Revolutionary Guards’ involvement in the Syrian suppression. Recently the deputy commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Cmdr. Esmail Ghani, said his forces have been playing a “physical and nonphysical” role in Syria.
The Guards last year called Syrian protesters “rabble-rousers” who are “puppets of Zionists and the United States” and that their chanting slogans against Iran and Hezbollah “will be their last stand.”
On Thursday, U.N. observers were fired upon as they tried to reach the site of the latest massacre of civilians, many of them women and children, who were shot or stabbed, the fourth such massacre in two weeks. More than 10,000 civilians have so far lost their lives in the brutal suppression ordered by Assad and abetted by Iran and Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, the head of Iran’s Basij militia made clear that Iran will not tolerate the fall of Assad.
Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for human rights abuses in Iran, told Lebanese TV Al Manar, “After the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and the disruption to their defensive posture in protecting the Zionist regime, America in order to defend the regime of the occupier of the Quds (Jerusalem) is after a new scenario in Syria. … But they will be defeated.”
The Basij commander warned Israel against any attack on Iran or Syria, stating, “Today all the people of the region are ready for wiping out this cancerous tumor, and reaction to any aggression will be the freedom of Quds.”
Naghdi also said the West was wrong in believing that international sanctions against Iran will force the Islamic republic to accept demands that it yield on its clandestine nuclear program.
“Sanctions have had a lot of effect on Iran, but one positive one is the growth of science and internal production. … If the American president did not have his hands in the blood of nations of the world, specifically Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine, and had not embraced torture, we would have given him a national medal for his service to the Iranian nation for imposing sanctions.”
Naghdi predicted that America will be forced to pack up and leave the region, taking with it all of its forces.
The mullahs ruling Iran, based on centuries-old hadiths, believe that an attack on Syria and Iran and an ensuing counterattack on Israel will trigger the coming of “Mahdi,” the Shiites’ 12th imam and the last Islamic messiah. Both those events are looking increasingly likely as Assad continues to murder his own people and Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons.
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Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book, “A Time to Betray.” He is a senior fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy. He also is a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.