When the U.N. certified that the Iranians were in compliance with the nuclear agreement and sanctions were removed in mid-January, John Kerry proclaimed, “The world is safer today.” That was on January 18. On January 27, Iran warned the U.S. that a Navy vessel and fighter jet had gotten too close to an Iranian military drill, and told the Americans to back off. It was just the latest of numerous indications that in John Kerry’s safer world, Iran is in charge.
This warning followed a tweet last Sunday from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, featuring a photo of the American sailors that Iran captured and briefly held hostage earlier in January. The sailors were kneeling with their hands behind their heads. Khamenei added other photos of himself smiling with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces that captured the Americans along with a text congratulating them.
Khamenei tweeted his words to the IRGC: “What you did was very great, interesting and timely and it was in fact God’s deed that took Americans to our waters so that through your timely job they raised their hands over their heads and were arrested.”
One might almost get the impression that Khamenei thinks Iran is embroiled in a war. The head of Iran’s armed forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, gave the same impression when he declared: “This incident in the Persian Gulf, which probably will not be the American forces’ last mistake in the region, should be a lesson to troublemakers in the U.S. Congress.”
The new Boss of the region would certainly let the U.S. know when it made more “mistakes.” The Iranians claimed that the American sailors were weak: Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), crowed:
“American sailors started crying after arrest, but the kindness of our Guard made them feel calm.” He boasted that “since the end of the Second World War, no country has been able to arrest American military personnel” – until now.
IRGC commander Ahmad Dolabi added: “I saw the weakness, cowardice, and fear of American soldiers myself. Despite having all of the weapons and equipment, they surrendered themselves with the first action of the guardians of Islam. American forces receive the best training and have the most advanced weapons in the world, but they did not have the power to confront the Guard due to weakness of faith and belief.”
This crowing over America’s alleged weakness comes after numerous statements by Iranian leaders saying they wanted to confront the U.S. militarily, and that such a confrontation was inevitable. On February 11, 2014, the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said:
The Defense Ministry is working to ensure that the Iranian people are armed and ready to confront any enemy threat. Yesterday’s successful test of Iranian-made ballistic missiles was also a crushing response to the nonsense of the American officials who frequently threaten Iran. It is a clear answer to their military option.
The Defense Ministry and the Iranian nation are always ready, and Iran will welcome it if the Americans again put themselves to the test and face the consequences. The Americans will again be defeated, just as they were in the Iran-Iraq war. If they implement their nonsense, the Iranian nation will hand them a crushing defeat.
Firouzabadi once boasted: “Iran is prepared for the decisive war against the U.S. and the Zionist regime.…Iran has been making plans, conducting maneuvers, and preparing its forces for this battle for years now.”
And in May 2014, senior Iranian commander Massoud Jazayeri warned that if the U.S. attacked Iran, not only would the result be “the annihilation of the Israeli regime,” but war in the U.S. itself: “[The Americans] know that aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran would mean annihilation of Tel Aviv and spread of war into the United States.” Fadavi added: “Today the Americans and the entire world know that one of our operational goals is destroying U.S. Navy Forces.”
In May 2015, Salami, said forthrightly that Iran wanted war with the United States: “We have prepared ourselves for the most dangerous scenarios and this is no big deal and is simple to digest for U.S.; we welcome war with the U.S. as we do believe that it will be the scene for our success to display the real potentials of our power.”
The lieutenant commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Navy General Alireza Tangsiri, was even more bellicose in October 2015, issuing this warning to the United States: “I declare now that if the enemy wants to spark a war against Iran, we will chase them even to the Gulf of Mexico and we will do it.”
This war would involve jihad-martyrdom suicide attacks. Said Tangsiri: “[The Americans] have tested us once and if necessary, there are people who will blow up themselves with ammunitions to destroy the U.S. warships.”
The disastrous Obama/Kerry nuke deal clearly has only encouraged the Iranians to consider the Americans weak and ripe for the taking. After the deal and what it revealed about the muddle-headedness and impotence of American leadership, the Iranians clearly knows who’s in charge, and they’re taking full advantage.