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Politics

IRGC Chief Warns Against Foreign Meddling On Anniversary Of U.S. Embassy Takeover

November 4, 2022
Akhtar Safi
2 min read
Major General Hossein Salami’s warning comes as the Islamic Republic is marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
Major General Hossein Salami’s warning comes as the Islamic Republic is marking the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

The top commander of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned that the clerical regime will respond decisively to any meddling by the country’s foreign foes, amid nationwide protests triggered by the September death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody.

Major General Hossein Salami’s warning also came as hard-liners marked the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which sparked a 444-day hostage crisis and a break in diplomatic relations between the United States  and Iran that continues today.

"The enemies know that we will surely respond to any interventionism, but we cannot say right now where and how this [response] will come," Salami said on November 4, as State-run television aired pro-regime rallies around the country. Crowds in Tehran looked large, but only a few dozen people appeared to take part to other demonstrations.

The wave of anti-government protests that has convulsed Iran for more than six weeks is one of the biggest challenges to the country's rulers since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Officials have blamed foreign powers for the unrest, without providing any evidence. Meanwhile, security forces unleashed a fierce crackdown on the mainly peaceful protest movement, arresting several thousand people, subjecting detainees to various forms of physical and psychological torture, and killing more than 270 other people.

Dozens of security forces have also been killed, according to state media. One member of the Basij paramilitary force reportedly died in clashes with protesters in a town near Tehran on November 3.

Addressing a crowd gathered in front of the former U.S. Embassy, hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi said that those who are “taking the smallest step in the direction of breaching security and riots… are stepping in the direction of enemies of the Islamic Revolution.”

“Americans think they can execute the plan they carried out in some countries like Syria and Libya here. What a false dream!”

At a rally in California on November 3 before the U.S. midterm elections, President Joe Biden interrupted his speech to address a crowd that was holding up cellphones displaying the message “FREE IRAN.”

“Don’t worry, we’re gonna free Iran,” Biden said. “They’re going to free themselves pretty soon.”

In his speech, Raisi referenced the U.S. president’s comments, saying: “Mr. President, Iran was liberated 43 years ago, and it’s determined not to become your captive again.”

Iran’s theocracy used this year’s November 4 annual rallies to energize its hard-line base, with some signs reading: “We Are Obedient To The Leader,” in reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has final say over all state matters in Iran.

The weekslong protests have included cries calling for the death of the 83-year-old Khamenei and the overthrow of the regime.

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Politics

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November 4, 2022
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1 min read
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