Tehran: An Iranian military commander warned on Sunday that any conflict with Iran would have uncontrollable consequences across the region and endanger the lives of US forces, as tensions between Washington and Tehran have flared after the downing of an American surveillance drone.
Maj Gen Gholamali Rashid made the remarks while addressing Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps during a field visit to a command center for Iranian radars and missile systems. The general oversees and coordinates joint military operations in the Iranian Armed Forces.
"The US administration should behave in a responsible way to protect the lives of American forces," he was quoted as saying in comments published by the semi-official Fars news agency.
Rashid said if war breaks out, the scope and duration of the conflict would be uncontrollable, and blamed any escalation on "U.S. interventionist policy." His comments come as tensions were running high in the Persian Gulf as the Trump administration combines a "maximum pressure" campaign of economic sanctions on Iran with a buildup of American forces in the region.
The latest flareup came when Iran said it shot down the U.S. drone on Thursday and that it elected not to fire on a U.S. spy plane with a crew of over 30 people that was flying in the area at the same time. President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a retaliatory military strike after learning 150 people would be killed.
He said, however, such action is "always on the table until we get this solved." He said "we very much appreciate" the decision by Iran's Revolutionary Guard not to shoot down the manned American aircraft.
US military cyber forces, meanwhile, launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday, according to U.S. officials. The cyberattacks disabled Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said.