AN Iranian military commander warned on Sunday that any conflict with Iran would have uncontrollable consequences across the region and endanger the lives of US forces, as tensions between Washington and Tehran have flared after the downing of an American surveillance drone. Major General Gholamali Rashid made the remarks while addressing Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps during a field visit to a command center for Iranian radars and missile systems. The General oversees and coordinates joint military operations in the Iranian Armed Forces.
“The US administration should behave in a responsible way to protect the lives of American forces,” he was quoted as saying in comments published by the semi-official ‘Fars news’ agency. Rashid said if war breaks out, the scope and duration of the conflict would be uncontrollable, and blamed any escalation on “US Interventionist policy.” His comments come as tensions were running high in the Persian Gulf as the Trump administration combines a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions on Iran with a buildup of American forces in the region.
Also on Sunday, and during an open session of Iran’s Parliament, lawmakers chanted “death to America” when acting Parliament Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian condemned what he said was the violation of Iranian airspace by the US Drone. The chant dates back to before Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and remains a staple of hard-line demonstrations. The regional tensions have prompted major international carriers to divert flight routes away from the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz. Saudi Arabia’s state airline Saudia was the latest carrier to announce late Saturday it is rerouting flight paths to some Asian destinations in order to avoid Iranian airspace.