Iran has once again threatened the United States, Israel and their allies saying that “they will be defeated in the World War they have waged against Iran.”
Revolutionary Guard Commander Hossein Salami said Sunday that “We are determined to stand against them. We will turn this new battle scene, this huge sedition scene, and this world war into a burial ground for America, Israel and their allies,” singling out Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
During his visit to Zahedan in the southeast after weeks of antigovernment protests in the mostly Sunni region, Salami once again upped the ante against Israel saying the “Zionist” regime would collapse.
“We will bury plots to target Iran, just as we've buried Israeli and American plots in the past,” he added.
Salami’s visit to Sistan and Baluchestan province comes at a time the regime has been in hot water there within the past weeks after killing least 100 people,including a nine-year-old girl during anti-government protests.
The hardliner commander labeled protesters as “non-believers”, saying, “Today on one side is the Front of Kufr [disbelief] with all its might and on the other is the Front of Islam, one cannot stand in the middle, the lines are clear, one side is led by America and Israel and the other side is led by the Supreme Leader of the revolution [Ali Khamenei] and believers and revolutionaries.”
His remarks come a day after Khamenei warned demonstrators to bring the movement to an end and showed a green light for more crackdown.
However, some believe Salami’s comments on “unity” in a region with Sunni majority is the last attempt by the government to pacify the situation there while it is already under pressure with the situation in the northwest Kordestan province.
In early November the leader of Iran’s largely Sunni Baluch population in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan strongly criticized the authorities for their brutality in the province, holding Supreme Leader Khamenei responsible for the violence against Sunnis and other protesters.
“A government with which people are dissatisfied is no good and has to be toppled,” Molavi Abdolhamid stated, demanding the release of all those arrested in the protests across the country.
He also blasted more than 200 members of Iran’s parliament who demanded the death sentence for some protesters. “In Khamenei’s rule there is no freedom. Which political party or group is free? We have neither freedom of speech, nor freedom of media,” he added in unprecedented criticism against the 83-year-old ruler.
The influential Friday Prayer Imam of Zahedan also called for an internationally monitored referendum, saying by killing and crackdown the government cannot push back a nation.
Worried by the developments in the province, Khamenei sent his representatives to hold talks with local Sunni leaders.
State media said Mohammad-Javad Haj-Ali Akbari was carrying “Supreme Leader’s greetings to the people of Sistan and Baluchestan” and to let them know that the recent events in the province have “saddened and upset him”.
However, what some media in Tehran reported about Haj-Ali Akbari’s statements, showed that his remarks had double meaning. While he spoke about resolving misunderstandings, he also said he delivered “serious messages to some” to be careful about their behavior.
With Abdolhamid clearly expressing the demands of the Baluch people and condemning the brutal killing of citizens in the visit with Khamenei’s representative, it seems Khamenei this time has sent his hardliner IRGC Commander to show an iron fist to the people, signaling if they continue protests, more clampdowns are on the way.