The deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces has warned that his country will confront the Trump administration’s “aggressive policies” by “teaching America new lessons.”  Hinting that Iran may take action against U.S. interests in the region, Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri emphasized that it is essential for Tehran to confront America’s “destabilizing behavior” in the region. “The era of America’s presence and domination in West Asia has come to an end,” he stressed, adding that the U.S. project to create a “new Middle East” has failed long time ago.   “It seems the Trump administration understands nothing but expletives and needs some shocks to learn the new concept of power in today’s world,” he continued. He further emphasized that Tehran will not succumb to U.S. pressure and will continue to enhance its defensive capabilities. Jazzayeri said the Islamic Republic has devised plans to counter U.S. “aggression” but did not provide any specifics.

Comment: Tension between Washington and Tehran has been escalating lately as the Trump administration is expected to decertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in July 2015. While the International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has not breached the terms of the deal, the Trump administration accused Tehran of violating the “spirit” of the deal by accelerating its controversial missile activities as well as continuing its destabilizing role in the region. Washington is also mulling designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) – Iran’s most powerful military force that is heavily involved in regional conflicts, as a terrorist organization. Such a step will most likely further heighten tension between Tehran and Washington.