The deputy commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force has warned U.S. President Donald Trump that he will regret taking any actions against the Islamic Republic, particularly the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.), the Iranian media reported. “Whatever absurd remark they make, it will be to their loss and the Islamic regime will confront them with complete force. They have become desperate. Trump should realize that we have dispatched many despots like him to the grave and we understand well how to fight against America,” Esmail Ghaani said at a ceremony commemorating a Quds Force officer killed in Syria. “We do not support a war, but if anyone attacks our country, he will learn such a lesson that he will never think about aggression.” He added that the United States and its allies have pursued hostile policies against Iran since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 but they have failed to prevent Iran’s rising power. He accused the U.S. government of invading Iraq and Afghanistan to wage a proxy war against Iran, and alleged that Washington supports “terrorists” in Syria.

Comment: The Quds Force is the elite branch of the I.R.G.C. and is responsible for external operations. Headed by Major General Qassem Soleimani, the elite force has supported terrorist activities and Iranian-backed Shiite militia forces across the Middle East and around the world. It has also forged ties with Sunni militant groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated the Quds Force under E.O. 13224 for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

The warning from Ghaani comes at a time when tension between Washington and Tehran is heightening and the Trump administration is set to announce a more aggressive policy on the Islamic Republic. In recent days, Iranian leaders have responded harshly to reports that Washington plans to decertify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord and announce a new set of sanctions against the I.R.G.C.