Iran Guards chief says enemy focused on economic conflict

Major General Hossein Salami has been quoted as saying that the path for the enemy has been completely closed in the military sphere. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 July 2019

Iran Guards chief says enemy focused on economic conflict

  • Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased since Trump pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal last year
  • Last month the United States came as close as it has ever come to bombing Iran

GENEVA: The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday the enemy was worried about the prospect of war and was focused instead on an economic conflict, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased since Trump pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal last year and moved to bar all international sales of Iranian oil.
Last month the United States came as close as it has ever come to bombing Iran, when President Donald Trump aborted a retaliatory air strike minutes before impact. Trump said he decided the strike, to punish Iran for shooting down a drone, would have killed too many people.
“In the military sphere, we have completely closed the path for the enemy,” Major General Hossein Salami was quoted as saying.
“In the current situation it is the enemies who are worried about the outbreak of war and this worry is apparent in their physical and tactical behavior ... At the current crossroads, economic war is the main field for the enemy to confront us,” he added.


Pope backs Iraqi call for its sovereignty to be respected

Updated 18 min 46 sec ago

Pope backs Iraqi call for its sovereignty to be respected

  • President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican’s two top diplomats
  • The recent tensions in Iraq could make it impossible for Francis to visit the country, which he has said he would like to do this year

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis met Iraq’s president on Saturday and the two agreed that the country’s sovereignty must be respected, following attacks on Iraqi territory this month by the United States and Iran.
President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican’s two top diplomats, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, its foreign minister.
The talks “focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favor of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty,” a Vatican statement said.
On Jan. 8, Iranian forces fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing US troops in retaliation for Washington’s killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike a Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
The Iraqi parliament has passed a resolution ordering the 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq to leave the country.
Soon after the Iranian attack, Francis urged the United States and Iran to avoid escalation and pursue “dialogue and self-restraint” to avert a wider conflict in the Middle East.
The pope discussed the Middle East with US Vice President Mike Pence on Friday.
The recent tensions in Iraq could make it impossible for Francis to visit the country, which he has said he would like to do this year.
The Vatican said the pope and Salih also discussed “the importance of preserving the historical presence of Christians in the country.”
The Christian presence in Iraq and some other countries in the Middle East has been depleted by wars and conflicts.
Iraq’s several hundred thousand Christians suffered particular hardships when Daesh controlled large parts of the country, but have recovered.