“Today, the (Iranian) Armed Forces are ready to respond to any threat most firmly in the shortest possible time,” Brigadier General Heidari told reporters on Sunday.
Referring to the recent changes that have been made in the Army Ground Force, he said, “some changes have been made in the nature of the Army Ground Force… and our forces’ readiness is at its highest level.”
“The Army Ground Force, like other Armed Forces, is at the height of readiness and if any threat emerges, it will nip it in the bud,” the commander went on to say.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”
“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.
However, on June 24 Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).