Mid-East experts warn US to take Iran threat to kill generals seriously

Written by: Anita Nair
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Washington, Dec. 16 (ANI): Middle East experts have said that the Obama administration must take the threat of a leader of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard to target American generals seriously.

In a speech published in Farsi at an Iranian website linked to the Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi was quoted as saying that "the filthy Americans and the Zionists should not think that with killing our scientists, they can divert our nation from its path of Jihad and scare us."

He continued with a specific threat: "We will mark the hanging sites of the American and Zionist generals and we will identify which hanging was in retaliation for the blood of our great martyr Shahriari."

According to Fox News, Naghdi, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Basij Forces, was referring to Dr. Majid Shahriari, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist who was reportedly heading efforts to fight the Stuxnet virus that has crippled Iran's nuclear program.

Both Shahriari and another leading scientist, Fereidoun Abbasi, were targeted in simultaneous attacks last week in Tehran.

As the men were driving to work, motorcyclists pulled up to their cars and attached magnetic explosive devices to them. The attackers drove off as the bombs exploded.

Shahriari was killed instantly; Abbasi, who was personally sanctioned by the United Nations for his part in the nuclear program, was wounded but managed to escape.

Reza Kahlili, a former CIA spy who left Iran first discovered the comments, and said: "that the United States should be concerned about this threat."

Jim Phillips, an expert on Middle East Policy for the Heritage Foundation, and Alireza Nader, an expert in Iran's leadership at the RAND Corporation, said Iran often makes outlandish threats, but they agreed that this one has to be taken as a serious and credible threat because it came directly from Naghdi.

"It is significant that this commander made specific threats," Nader said.

He added: "Usually these threats are taken with a grain of salt, but there is a history of the Iranian regime retaliating against U.S. forces in a covert manner, especially in Iraq."

Department of Defense spokesman Maj. Chris Perrine, said: "I have not heard those threats; DOD is not going to respond to such comments." (ANI)

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