The Islamic State is no threat to Iran, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Pakpour said Tuesday. The Revolutionary Guards commander assured Iranians that his ground forces would not “allow such threats.”
The armed forces' chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, also said last week that ISIS militants would not dare approach Iran’s borders.
Pakpour, the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ commander, said his forces were doing their best to keep the country safe, but he had no fears about ISIS threats. “We are determined to destroy ISIL if it makes it to within 40 kilometers of any of our borders,” government-run Press TV quoted him saying.
Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli made a similar declaration May 25.
Russian MP Semyon Bagdasarov, comparing the Middle Eastern situation with the Ukraine conflict, held Iran’s capabilities against ISIS forces in high esteem. “The only force that can break ISIS is Iran,” Pravda quoted Bagdasarov.
Bagdasarov said Iran could eliminate ISIS if it were allowed to move its army into Syria and Iraq. But he acknowledged that that might lead to “one big bloody massacre” as other Arab countries as well as the U.S. would intervene.
Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, meanwhile, said Iran would provide only advisory support to Iraq. The Iranian Army’s ground forces commander clarified that his country would not provide any missile defense system or weapons. He added that Iran was prepared to counter al-Nusra Front militants who were acting on behalf of the U.S., he charged, and committing crimes in Iraq and Syria.