On Thursday, a top Iranian Military Official reacted to Donald Trump winning the election and lashed out about his past rhetoric towards Iran. FarsNews, Iran’s state-controlled news source, reported that Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, belittled Trump for his threats of action against the Islamic regime in the Persian Gulf.
Bagheri is quoted as saying “The person who has recently achieved power, has talked off the top of his head! Threatening Iran in the Persian Gulf is just a joke.” According to FarsNews, Bagheri also stated that during campaigns, American politicians “eat too much sugar,” which is in reference to a Farsi proverb that means people speak too much nonsense.
“The sorts of statements made by the Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff are not only ill-advised and unwise, they reinforce American and Western perceptions of the Iranians as aggressors in the region,” Michael Krull, adjunct professor of politics at Georgetown University and executive at Resilient Corporation, told American Military News.
“For the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to make such a statement is laughable,” Krull continued. “He seems to imply that an American presence in the Persian Gulf, whether exercising our right to free navigation in international waters or for the self defense of our forces, is too provocative. This from a country that in 1979 seized our embassy and held our embassy personnel hostage for 444 days — both actions were more than provocative, they were acts of war according to international norms.”
In September, Donald Trump took a strong stance against further bullying from Iran in the Persian Gulf and said that any Iranian ships that harassed the U.S. again would be “shot out of the water.” The statement came following reports that a week earlier Iran had harassed a U.S. Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf and America didn’t have a heavy response. The taunting in the Persian Gulf in September came after an incident were Iran captured 10 U.S. soldiers and shared images of them on their knees with their hands on their heads.