On Wednesday, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that the United States should expect a “strong slap in the face” if they underestimate Iran’s defense capabilities. General Mohammad Pakpour, the head of the IRGC’s ground forces, made the statement as Tehran concluded war games, Reuters reported.
“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,” said Gen. Pakpour, as quoted by Sepahnews, the official news site of the IRGC.
Following the Trump administration’s statement that they were planning to put Iran “on notice” for their ballistic missile tests, the IRGC began exercising with rockets, tanks, artillery, and helicopters. Pakpour said that these exercises were meant to send a message.
“The message of these exercises … for world arrogance is not to do anything stupid,” Pakpour said, according to Tasnim. “Everyone could see today what power we have on the ground.”
The Islamic Republic tested a ballistic missile on January 29th, just nine days after President Trump took office. The White House responded by putting Iran “on notice” a few days later. Former national security advisor Michael Flynn delivered the news during a White House press briefing.
“The Trump Administration condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East which places American lives at risk,” Flynn told reporters.
“President Trump has severely criticized the various agreements reached between Iran and the Obama Administration, as well as the United Nations, as being weak and ineffective. Instead of being thankful to the United States in these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice,” Lt. Gen. Flynn concluded.
Days later, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that they were placing new sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile testing. The department disclosed that the new sanctions would target 13 individuals and 12 entities.