The former head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard intelligence, who was replaced in June has re-emerged with bluster, saying Israel “will not see its 80th anniversary.”

Hossein Ta’eb, the long-time head of IRGC Intelligence Organization was suddenly removed from his post on June 23 after a series of mysterious and well-planned sabotage and assassination operations in Iran blamed by officials on Israel. A series of other personnel changes followed, signaling the weakening of IRGC-IO and the possible strengthening of the Intelligence Ministry.

Fars news website affiliated with IRGC reported Thursday that Ta’eb gave a speech to a group of Revolutionary Guard political commissars, with a sweeping analysis of regional and world politics.

US President Joe Biden, Ta’eb said, wants to drag Iran into nuclear talks to get concessions and “again control the region, because this is the only way in which they can ensure the security of the Zionist regime and get hold of cheap oil.”

The statement reveals the conviction of Islamic Republic’s hardliners that they have seriously dented US power and influence in the Middle East, by supporting a large web of militant, anti-West proxy forces. They fear that the nuclear talks might eventually expand to include other demands by Washington and its allies, including a drastic change in Iran’s malign behavior.

Ta’eb’s well-publicized speech, besides re-habilitating his image, coincided with the resumption of negotiations in Vienna on Thursday aimed at concluding 16-month-long negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA.

The United States insists that a reasonable offer was made to Iran in December 2021 to resolve the nuclear issue, but Tehran has been dragging its feet and making “extraneous” demands. Many observers have increasingly voiced concern that the Islamic Republic is delaying an agreement to gain time for the further expansion of its nuclear program, which is “fast galloping forward,” according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi.

Ta’eb also strongly backed the favorite foreign policy theme of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to draw closer to Russian and China. He insisted that if the US and Europe guarantee the Islamic Republic’s interests and security, “we are in it”, but if “China and Russia can guarantee these two, we will accept it,” and this would not contradict the regime’s original dictum of “Neither West nor East”, he said.

Insisting that Israel suffers from deep internal divisions, Ta’eb said that the demise of the Jewish state is near, and it will not see its 80th anniversary. But he admitted that Israel began “a secret war against us,” which “we responded to.”

The former all-powerful intelligence chief, who is now an advisor to the IRGC chief commander, did not speak about his removal, which is widely attributed to repeated intelligence failures in preventing acts of sabotage.

Ta’eb’s speech also once again revealed the strategy of the Islamic Republic to blame internal problems and contradictions on “the enemy”, which usually means the United States, Israel and the West in general. The former intelligence chief reiterated the recent arguments of other hardliners that the resistance of many Iranian women to forced hijab is a campaign orchestrated by foreign enemies.

“The final aim of the enemy is to sow doubt in our trenches. We have to be mindful to respond to questions raised within our ranks, because not to respond to doubts will make the enemy’s arguments superior to ours…”

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