Iranian Military Chief warns of revolutionary guards response

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FILE PHOTO: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey May 18, 2018. Arif Hudaverdi Yaman/Pool via Reuters

A senior Iranian military official has said foreign forces in the Gulf face the Revolutionary Guards’ firm response if they do not follow international laws.

Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri was quoted by the Iranian News Agency IRNA as saying “thanks to the Revolutionary Guards’ Navy, the hostile countries are worried before crossing the Strait of Hormuz,” 

“They have followed the international laws in the last year, but if they breach the laws, they will face confrontation and our controlling measures,” he added.

This comes just as Iranian lawmakers launched impeachment proceedings against the education minister on Wednesday, stepping up pressure on President Hassan Rouhani who is under attack from parliament over his handling of the economy following new U.S. sanctions.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meeting with Rouhani and his cabinet on Wednesday, told the government to work “day and night” to resolve economic problems.

“We need to be strong in the economic field … The officials should work hard day and night to resolve the problems,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by state television.

The impeachment move came only three days after lawmakers sacked the minister of economy and finance blaming him for the collapse of the rial currency and surging unemployment. They had, weeks earlier, dismissed the labor minister.

Another motion, signed by 70 lawmakers, aims to impeach the minister of industry, mines and business.

Rouhani won two landslide elections on a platform of economic reform and opening Iran up to the outside world, and his pragmatic supporters have a majority in the parliament.

U.S. President Donald Trump in May pulled out of an international accord that had curbed Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for sanctions relief.