Zarif reacts to US B-52s: We do not shy away from crushing aggressors
Iran’s foreign minister has reacted to recent overflights by US strategic B-52H bomber planes, noting that the Iranian nation will never be intimidated by such shows of force.
According to Press TV, Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a tweet on Sunday, emphasizing that Iranians are not a belligerent nation and “have not started a war in over 200 years.”
“We don’t shy [away] from crushing aggressors,” Iran’s foreign minister, however, added.
Zarif also advised the administration of the outgoing US President Donald Trump not to waste the American taxpayers’ money on such empty moves, saying, “You should have spent those $billions on your taxpayers' health,” in a clear allusion to grave situation of the United States in terms of controlling the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed hundreds of thousands of American lives.
Zarif’s tweet came hours after the US Central Command announced that the B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews conducted a “presence patrol” in West Asia on Sunday to mark the second such mission in 2021.
“Bomber Task Force missions are observable ways to demonstrate the US military's continuing commitment to regional security,” US Central Command’s Commander Gen. Frank McKenzie claimed in a Sunday statement.
Last week, the US and Saudi Arabia concluded joint war games, with Saudi F-15SE warplanes flying besides American B-52 bombers and F-16 fighters.
The Saudi air force, the Royal Saudi Naval Force, the US Navy, the US Coast Guard and the US Air Force conducted joint air operations in the Persian Gulf between December 17 and 18 last year.
In response to such provocative moves, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps conducted two-days of major drills codenamed the Great Prophet 15, in central Iran, in which it tests its latest ballistic missiles and combat drones.
The first round of the drills, codenamed the Great Prophet 15, was held with mass launches of ballistic ground-to-ground missiles and operations by combat bomber drones.
During the second day of maneuvers, Iran's home-grown ballistic missiles destroyed mock enemy warships with pinpoint accuracy, hundreds of kilometers away, in the northern Indian Ocean.
Iran's top military Commander, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, described the launch of ballistic missiles to destroy the hypothetical enemy’s warships from a distance of 1,800 kilometers as "meaningful," warning enemies against threats to Iran’s national interests.