Iran army chief threatens US bases if sanctions imposed

Iran’s top army chief on Monday threatened attacks on US military bases in the Middle East in the event that Washington imposes sanctions on the regime.

Iran’s chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, said that designating the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps a terrorist organization would be a huge miscalculation, and threatened the consequences of doing so, saying it could destabilize the entire region, Iranian media reported.

“Drawing an analogy between the IRGC and terrorist groups and imposing the same sanctions on the IRGC would be a big risk to the US and its bases and forces stationed in the region,” Bagheri told a group of military commanders in Mashhad.

Bagheri also said the US should be wary of imposing new sanctions on the country to stop its missile program.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile power is defensive and is never negotiable at any level,” he said.

In June, the US Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to strengthen sanctions against Iran for its ballistic missile testing and other non-nuclear provocations.

Passed by a vote of 98-2, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 is supposed to impose new mandatory sanctions against persons and entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Both Democrats and Republicans in Washington have insisted on responding to Iran’s provocative ballistic missile tests for months, but reportedly waited until after the recent Iran election to vote on this legislation.

The bill still has to go to the House of Representatives. If it passes there, it will go to the president’s desk.

Eric Cortellessa contributed to this report.

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