The editor of a hardliner daily operating under the aegis of the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader says Iran's precision missiles can target any spot in Europe.
Hossein Shariatmadari, whose newspaper Kayhan is believed to reflect Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s views, was speaking at an event in Hamadan, northwestern Iran on Thursday, on the 1979 Islamic revolution anniversary. Reformist Etemad Online also quoted Shariatmadari as saying that anti-Americanism is in the nature of Tehran's Islamic regime.
The hardliner editor said that once upon a time Iran was weak but now it is powerful and all of Europe is within the range of its precision-guided missiles.
He added, that there is a perpetual battle between the Islamic Republic, which represents "real Islam" and the "arrogance" of the United States, which can only end if Iran's government gives up Islam or the United States its 'arrogance'.
During recent days, while the Islamic regime has been celebrating its revolution's anniversary, other Iranian officials have also made controversial remarks.
IRGC Commander Hossein Salami who is known for his outlandish remarks, said on Friday"No world power is capable of confronting the Iranian nation.
Earlier this week, when former nuclear chief Fereidoun Abbasi called on the United States to officially recognize Iran as a world power, social media users mocked him by calling his remarks "delusional boasting" and commented: "How can a country whose military budget is less than 0.5% of the rest of the world and has no air force, a naval force fit for the oceans and cannot have financial transactions with the world be a world power?"
In another development on Friday, IRGC General Ahmad Zolghadr who is in charge of maintaining the Capital Tehran's security said he knows that Americans believe that Shiites have a gene in their body, which boosts their zeal and the United States wishes to inject that gene into the body of its soldiers.
Boasting about Iran's military power, Shariatmadari said that Iran defeated the Islamic State group in Syria and reiterated that "If we did not fight ISIS in Syria, we would have been shining their shoes in Iran today." Iran, throughout its decade-old military involvement in Syria, has protected Bashar Assad by fighting the Syrian opposition.
Meanwhile, the firebrand editor appointed by Ali Khamenei claimed there were some 50,000 US military advisers in Iran before the 1979 revolution. This comes while according to 1979 news reports there were around 40 thousand Americans in Iran at the time, who were mainly working with international companies, including their family members.
Speaking on negotiations with world powers in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Shariatmadari, a well-known opponent of the JCPOA and relations with the West, said that the talks are meant to lift the 1,500 sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States but none of those sanctions have been lifted yet.
During the past two weeks, while the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and dozens of Iranian lawmakers called for direct talks with the United States, Kayhan and its editor opposed negotiations with the United States and called on the foreign Minister and Iran's security Chief Ali Shamkhani to repent for their support of direct negotiations with the US. Shamkhani wrote an apologetic statement and denied his support for direct talks, but the Foreign Minister ignored Shariatmadari and his newspaper.