This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
A former official for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps has threatened to kill "Western hostages" he claimed his nation is holding, only to later backtrack and clarify his targets are Israeli and U.S. military bases in the region.
A report from the Middle East Media Research Institute explains the threats are from Iranian politician and former IRGC minister Brig. Gen. Mohsen Rafighdoost.
On Iranian TV he claimed Iran is holding Western hostages and that they will be killed in minutes if Iran comes under attack from Western countries.
Then when Hossein Shariatmadari, a longtime editor of the Iranian regime mouthpiece Kayhan and close associate of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, warned those comments would damage Iran's image and "justify Western claims that Iran arrests Westerners so that they can be used to pressure their home countries," Rafighdoost backed down.
He said the "hostages" are "Israel and the U.S. military bases."
It's a common strategy for Iran's rogue Islamic regime to arrest Westerners and then use them as bargaining chips against their home countries. Recently, Joe Biden handed over access to $6 billion to Iran in exchange for five such American "hostages."
Rafighdoost's comments affirmed that.
He said, "[Use of] the military option against Iran by any of the world's superpowers will not work. Although this is due not just to our capabilities, it mostly is. Yes, we have weapons that even the U.S. does not have. No other countries have [weapons] as advanced as ours. We are holding hostages from the [Western] superpowers located in the region that might strike us – and we can eliminate them within 30 or 60 minutes. Inshallah, we will get an opportunity to do this."
Shariatmadari worked at a cleanup then, saying Rafidghoost actually was referring to enemy bases in the region and such, "all of which are vulnerable" and can be destroyed by Iran.
Shariatmadari complained Rafighdoost's use of the term "hostages" and his mention of "eliminating them" was imprecise.
Shariatmadari fretted Rafighdoost's statements "might provide a basis for the West's claims that the Western prisoners held by Iran are innocent, rather than spies as the Iranian regime claims," the report said.
He explained, "In part of his interview with Channel 3, [Rafighdoost] said that Iran has hostages from global superpowers who would be eliminated within half an hour if Iran is attacked. It is not inconceivable that his statements were based on inaccuracies and inattention in his use of common military and political words and terminology.
"It can be assumed that when he spoke about hostages held by Iran, he was referring to the enemy military bases in the region, to economic arteries, and to the sensitive and strategic [enemy] centers, which are highly vulnerable and can be destroyed due to our military power and the popular influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran [in the countries of the region]."
Rafighdoost later corrected himself, "The hostages that we are holding in the region [are], first and foremost, the Zionist regime itself, which will be destroyed if it really attacks our country. Then there are the American military bases in the region, which, in some places, are there with the consent of the governments, and in many other places, like Iraq and Syria, were installed by force. If, God forbid, any foolish act is taken against our country, and it comes under attack, these hostages will be destroyed," he claimed.