A senior official in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards threatened the United States and its allies on Saturday that the Islamic Republic would respond harshly to a “stupid” attack on Syria.
The quotes, which were published on an official government-linked news agency, were removed a few minutes after being posted, but not before the BBC’s Persian-language website copied them and republished them.
The comments were made by Mohammad Ali Assoudi, the deputy for culture and propaganda of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“If the United States carries out the stupid act and attacks Syria, Iran and Syria’s allies in the world will react strongly and will turn America into a fiasco,” Assoudi said.
He did not specify what courses of action Iran would take, but stressed that there is a military alliance between the two countries that would require Iran to respond.
“With the cooperation of Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, America has a goal to hit Syria hard and overthrow the regime,” claimed Assoudi.
Last week, Iran publicly confirmed that its government has sent elite Revolutionary Guards to support the troops of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in that country's civil war.
Commander General Salar Abnoush told a group of volunteer trainees during a speech, “We are involved in fighting every aspect of a war – a military one in Syria, and a cultural one as well.”
The United Nations has accused Iran of supplying the Syrian government with weapons, which it is aiming at its own population.
According to a UN Security Council panel of independent experts that has been monitoring sanctions against Iran, the Islamic Republic has transferred weapons to Syria several times. Government officials accused Western countries of supplying opposition forces with arms as well.