MESOP INSIDE – THE MULLAH’S & THE TRUMP : Military’s Tough-Talk Challenge to Trump — “He Talks Off the Top of His Head”

11 Nov. 2016 – MESOP  – Shifting Iran’s position on the new US President, the military has issued a tough-talk challenge to Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Iranian officials — including the influential Secretary of the National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani — welcomed Trump’s surprise victory with the hope that it would cause US officials to review “policies based on disregard for the policies of the majority” and to reconsider “the spending of countless resources to pursue policies based on domination, intervention, and war in other countries”.

However, on Thursday General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, belittled Trump: “That person, who has just risen to power, has talked off the top of his head.”Baqeri proclaimed defiance through military strength: “Due to the foresight of Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, our missile might has reached a point where it does not allow the enemies to even think about attacking Iran.”The general asserted that “threatening the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is a mere joke”. Baqeri’s reassertion of Iran’s supposed military superiority over US forces stood in contrast to the line of President Rouhani, who focused on the need to maintain implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal: “It cannot be changed with the decision of a single administration.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed, “It is important that the future U.S. president is committed to implementing its multilateral commitments under the JCPOA. We are certain that the international community holds this expectation of the U.S. as well.”

But Zarif also issued a caution that, if Trump tries to abandon the deal, “Tehran has other options”.