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IRGC Commander Sounds Both Tough, Conciliatory toward US
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Hossein Salami speaks in Tehran on November 25. Behind him is a portrait of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

IRGC Commander Sounds Both Tough, Conciliatory toward US

Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, says Tehran is not looking for war – but is not afraid of one either. He was responding on Thursday to accusations from Washington that the Islamic Republic orchestrated violent protests this week outside the US Embassy in Baghdad. “We are not leading the country to war, but we are not afraid of any war, and we tell America to speak correctly with the Iranian nation,” Salami was quoted as saying by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency. “We have the power to break them several times over and are not worried.” The embassy protesters in Baghdad were members or supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite militias that are known to work at the behest of Tehran. One of those militias was targeted by deadly US air strikes on Sunday in retaliation for an attack on an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk last Friday night that left an American contractor dead and several US and Iraqi soldiers wounded.

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