Monday, August 20, 2007

Iran Equipped with High-Tech Missiles - IRGC Commander

And threatens to "punch" U.S. "harder..."

AND is reportedly shelling areas in northeastern Iraq.

Baztab News

A senior Iranian official says Iran is equipped with modern surface-to-surface and land-to-sea missiles to counter extraterritorial threat.

"Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is a major power in the Middle East," Major Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi, the Commander of the IRGC told the state Jam-e Jam TV network.

Safavi said Iran is equipped with the state-of-the-art military technology to safeguard the nation's interests.

"Of course we have changed our military doctrine and strategies after the US-led invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan," he said according to a report by Press TV on Friday.

IRGC is equipped with 2,000km range guided surface-to-surface Ballistic missiles and surface-to-air Tor-M1 anti-missile system, said the official.

Safavi said the Iranian surface-to-sea missiles can fire any target in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and that no boat or warship can evade the missiles.

Iran has trained some 12,000,000 volunteer (Basij) forces, organized in 2500 battalions known as 'Ashura'.

Safavi also praised IRGC's Ground Force capabilities, saying the Iranian anti-tank missiles can penetrate into the Israeli Merkava and US-made Abraham tanks.

“We believe in our military might and we are concerned with the establishment of peace and stability in the Middle East,” he said.

Meanwhile, today from the Kurdish region of northeastern Iraq comes this report:

Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

Jabar Yawar, a deputy minister in the Kurdistan regional government, said four days of intermittent shelling by Iranian forces had hit mountain villages high up on the Iraqi side of the border, wounding two women, destroying livestock and property, and displacing about 1,000 people from their homes. Mr Yawer said there had also been intense fighting on the Iraqi border between Iranian forces and guerrillas of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), an armed Iranian Kurdish group that is stepping up its campaign for Kurdish rights against the theocratic regime in Tehran.

On Saturday the Iranian news agency Mehr said an Iranian army helicopter which crashed killing six Republican Guard members had been engaged in a military operation against PJAK. Iranian officials said the helicopter had crashed into the side of a mountain during bad weather in northern Iraq. PJAK sources said the helicopter had been destroyed after it attempted to land in a clearing mined by guerrillas. The PJAK sources claimed its guerrillas had also killed at least five other Iranian soldiers, and a local pro-regime chief, Hussein Bapir.

This is not shrill rhetoric or idle sabre rattling anymore. I have to ask if Ahmadinejad and his merry band of mullahs like having signs on their backs that say "KICK THE SHIT OUT OF ME!"