RNA - "We don’t consider the regional countries as a threat, and the main threats are the US and the Zionist regime and we are preparing ourselves in conjunction with these threats. Of course, today we are enjoying a (high) level of deterrence," General Dehqan said in an interview with the state TV on Tuesday night.
Noting that the Islamic Republic has not recognized Israel's existence and legitimacy and considers the regime as a source of insecurity in the region, he said, "Israel today is confined to the occupied territories and doesn’t dare to act against its neighbors."
General Dehqan also warned of the threat posed by the Takfiri terrorists which have been created by the US, Israel and certain Persian Gulf littoral states, headed by Saudi Arabia, and warned that they are a threat to the global security and their supporters will one day regret their deeds.
His remarks came after Commander of Iran's Basij (Volunteer) force Brigadier General Gholam-Hossein Gheib-Parvar rejected claims about a shift in the United States' Iran policy under the new US administration, but meantime warned that his country knows how to defend itself.
"It would be of surprise if the US president acted differently; have they been acting any differently before," General Gheib-Parvar said on Sunday in reaction to the US administration's saber-rattling rhetoric against Iran.
The Basij commander who was speaking to reporters in Iran's Northeastern city of Mashhad assessed Trump's hawkish statements against Iran as undigested, but still in line with the United States' long-pursued overall policy towards Iran, and added, "Our people have seen many such animosities and we know how to defend ourselves."
US President Donald Trump claimed on Sunday that Iran “lost respect” for the US in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the world powers, and that it now feels “emboldened” by the agreement.
Also early Thursday, Trump echoed his national security adviser Michael Flynn’s comments a day earlier that Iran is now formally “on notice” for firing a ballistic missile.
“Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” he tweeted, without providing any other details.
“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion,” he added.
Flynn during a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room on Wednesday criticized Iran for its recent ballistic missile test.
In response, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani underlined his country's continued progress and advancement in its defense and missile program, saying that the country is strongly opposed to foreign interference.
"We will not take permission from any country or international organization to develop our conventional defense power and we will confront any foreign interference in the defense affairs, including the Islamic Republic of Iran's missile power," Shamkhani said in a meeting with Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan in Tehran last Wednesday.
Elsewhere, he blasted the western countries for their attempts to use sanctions to restrict the countries which are victims of terrorism, including Iran and Syria, and the West's support for terrorist groups.
"The Takfiri armed groups which are supported by certain regional states intellectually and financially beside the Zionist regime are two main threats to global security and unfortunately, the paper coalitions (those which have merely been formed on paper and take no practical measures) have not had any defensible performance in controlling these threats," Shamkhani said.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan confirmed last Wednesday that his country has tested a missile recently, describing it as part of Iran's defense programs.
"The recent test was in line with our programs and we don’t allow any foreign party to interfere in our defense affairs," General Dehqan told reporters in Tehran in reaction to the recent UN Security Council meeting on Iran's missile test.
He underscored that the missile test "contradicts neither the nuclear deal (between Iran and the world powers signed in 2015) nor the Resolution 2231".