A video threatening drone strikes on American and Israeli targets in the Middle East was released Monday by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC. Posted through their Telegram channel, the video opens with a clip of the “I heart Tel Aviv sign” along with US military bases throughout the region. The video then cuts to an Iranian underground drone hanger and command center.
The video comes to an end as an operator observes satellite images of Israeli and US targets from a desk displaying a picture of former IRGC commander Qassam Soleimani. The final caption of the video reads in Arabic and English, “It is only our will that keeps us from firing.”
This isn’t the first video that’s been used to promote the Iranian drone program. A similar animated video was released by Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei through his official website in January, depicting former President Donald Trump being assassinated. In the video, Trump was targeted on a Mar-a-Lago, Florida golf course by a drone strike in retaliation for the US killing Soleimani in January 2020.
The video released Monday also targeted Mujahideen-e-Khalq. The group is part of NCRI, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. After being designated a terrorist organization in 1997 by the US, it was removed from the list in 2012 and has since received support from US politicians and other Islamic Republic opponents.
Cheaply-made Iranian drones have been the weapon of choice for many Iranian proxies throughout conflict zones in the Middle East. US-backed Syrian opposition fighters and American troops in eastern Syria were attacked in August by drones believed to come from Tehran. Recently, Iranian drones have been used by Russian forces in their war with Ukraine.
Iranian support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine has become an obstacle for the US reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. On Monday, Washington’s lead negotiator in the talks, Rob Malley, said that the United States was not “wasting” any more time pursuing a return to the deal with Iran’s decision “to get involved in a war in Europe” as a factor.
Iran was accused by Washington on Tuesday of willingly being a part of killing Ukrainians by providing Russia with drones, voicing concern over potential missile shipments. According to White House national security spokesman John Kirby, “At its core, this is a regime in Tehran that is openly and willingly making themselves an accomplice to the murder of innocent Ukrainian people on Ukrainian soil.”
While Kirby wouldn’t confirm reports that Iran might provide Russia with short-range ballistic missiles, he did say, “We remain concerned about the potential of Iran to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.”
Jeffrey‘s a senior writer with ThinkCivics and a freelance journalist with The Jerusalem Post. He’s a published author, earned an associate’s degree in theology, and is pursuing a master’s degree in communications with a focus on journalism.