In a fiery speech Thursday, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force told the United States in case of the slightest move, “your teeth will be crushed in your mouth.”
Esmail Ghaani (Qaani) who was speaking in a gathering to honor those killed in Iran’s operations in the region, said, “We are telling the Americans you have still time to leave the region in humiliation, or you will be expelled in a manner worse than in Afghanistan.”
The Quds (Qods) Force is Iran's extraterritorial military and intelligence army, controlling its proxies in regional countries, distributing weapons cash and military technology to militant groups. Its previous commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone attack in Baghdad in January 2020.
Praising Afghan militiamen and Iranian forces killed in the region, mainly in the Syrian civil war, Ghaani told “the resistance front” to continue their fight under the banner of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
The ‘resistance front’ or ‘resistance forces’ are terms the Islamic Republic uses to refer to its proxy forces, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Shiite militia it backs in Iraq, forces fighting under its command in Syria, militant Palestinian groups and Yemen’s Houthis.
Ghaani declared that since the time Palestinians followed the “martyrdom” path of Iranians they became more and more powerful. He cited the missile war earlier this year and praised Palestinian militants for firing 3,000 missiles at Israel. He ridiculed Israel that it cannot respond against Iran, claiming that a threat during the 2006 Israeli war against Hezbollah in Lebanon was not carried out.
What sounded as potentially provocative for the region’s Sunni Arab states, Ghaani said that current conditions in the Islamic world are right for the spread of Shiite rule.
He addressed the United States saying, “The time when you did whatever you wished, and no one could say anything is over. The time of hit and run is over. Now if you hit you will be hit back all the way to the end.” He again brought up the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and said, “You fought in Afghanistan for 20 years and what did you accomplish?”. He added that Americans escaped from Afghanistan and could not even evacuate their own people.
Ghanni declared that the US withdrawal from the region has been partly achieved and the ‘resistance front’ will continue its fight.
He concluded by saying, “For years America spoke of overt and covert sanctions, but Iran’s power in hardware and software has reached a level that you know if you make a move “your teeth will be crushed in your mouth.”