The latest Iranian threats against enemies in the Middle East have implied the nation is prepared for a ground assault in neighboring countries—and that could include fighting groups backed by the US. A Fars News Agency report said that Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told reporters that “entering the proxy wars and confronting the terrorist grouplets’ threats” is one of the Army’s current “missions.” He also said that “the Army’s Ground Force prepares itself proportionate to those threats.”
Iranian security forces and even their military are believed to be involved in regional fights such as the Syrian civil war and the fight against ISIS (ISIL) in Iraq. Iran also supports the rebels in the Yemeni civil war. However, with proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, a threat by the Iranian ground forces to intervene could be an effort by Iran to raise the stakes. At the same time, Iran is known for its bluster and empty threats.
The US was brought into the discussion by the Fars report, which quoted a previous statement from another Iranian official accusing the Americans of running “proxy wars” in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Iran has accused the US of supporting regional terrorists in past reports, which is ironic since Iran is one of the primary sponsors of terrorism in the world.
The tough language from Iranian officials comes as the US and other world leaders are trying to hammer out a final agreement with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. The deadline for reaching such a deal is a little over a month away.
In spite of the rhetoric from Iran and the diminishing time left to achieve an agreement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini sounded optimistic over the weekend.
Mogherini was quoted by the EU External Action website as telling reporters, “I believe an agreement is within reach by the end of June.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 25, 2015)