Rouhani: IRGC Attack on IS Was Necessary

Rouhani: IRGC Attack on IS Was Necessary
Rouhani: IRGC Attack on IS Was Necessary

President Hassan Rouhani has defended the missile strikes by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on the positions of the self-styled Islamic States militants in Syria as a "right" and "necessary" move.

The six mid-range ballistic missiles were fired from the IRGC bases in the western provinces of Kordestan and Kermanshah in the final hours of Sunday.

The projectiles flew over Iraqi territory and hit IS positions in Syria's Deir al Zour province, 700 km from the launch sites.

Describing the IRGC's move as "completely right, appropriate and necessary", Rouhani said the missile attack does not mean a shift in Iran's regional and international policies, his official website reported.

"But if a terrorist group sends its members to undermine the Islamic Republic to the satisfaction of our enemies in the region and the world, it will certainly receive a resolute response," he said during a feast of Iftar with fellow clerics to break the Ramadan fast on Tuesday.

The missile strike was meant as retaliation for the deadly twin terrorist attacks carried out by IS militants in Tehran early this month, cutting short 18 innocent lives and wounding dozens more.

IRGC commanders had vowed reprisals against the terrorist group.

"We will retaliate against the terrorists and their supporters who martyred our people," the IRGC's second-in-command, Lieutenant General Hossein Salami, said after the Tehran attacks.

  Stronger Response

An IRGC statement on Sunday said the missiles hit "the command headquarters, meeting centers and logistical sites in which suicide car bombs were being assembled" with "pinpoint" accuracy and killed a "large number" of terrorists and destroyed their equipment and weapons.

"IRGC warns takfiri terrorists and their regional and trans-regional sponsors that if the lowly and satanic measures against the Iranian nation are repeated, [our] revolutionary wrath ... will send criminals to hell," the statement said.

Takfiris are ultra-extremists inspired by Wahhabi ideology who believe followers of some Islamic sects, including Shias, are apostates punishable by death.

Rouhani reiterated the IRGC's warning. "If, God forbid, the move is repeated, the perpetrators will face a stronger response by the Islamic Republic."

Iran has been providing advisory military support for the governments in Syria and Iraq in their fight to oust the IS militants, who overran large swaths of the two Arab countries in 2014.

Regarding the Tehran's double attacks, the Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had said, "Those actions and games with firecrackers… [are] too trivial to influence the willpower of the people of Iran and the officials of the country."


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