The commander of Iran's ground forces is lobbing a pretty big accusation: Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan says conflicts in Iraq and Syria can be traced back to when the United States planned and executed the 9/11 attacks, the Independent reports. "These wars and these threats stem from a comprehensive American strategy. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Americans felt that a new force was beginning to materialize, namely the union between Sunnis and Shiites," Pourdastan tells state-owned al-Alam, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. "In order to prevent this force from materializing, the Americans did many things," he continued. "The first thing they did was to plan and carry out the events of 9/11, in order to justify their presence in Western Asia, with the goal of ruling it."
Turning to the conflict in Yemen, Pourdastan said that the Shiite Houthis, supported by Iran, could turn their sights outside of Yemen and deal "lethal blows to Saudi Arabia," per the Blaze. "I feel that if Saudi cities were targeted by bombings and missiles, it would be difficult for the officials there to withstand this." He added a warning to Sunni fighters of the Islamic State: If they come within 25 miles of Iran, "We shall confront them and make them witness the might and capabilities of the Muslim soldiers," he said. The comments come at a bad time for those hoping to secure a nuclear deal with Iran. The Senate is set to debate compromise legislation which would give Congress the potential to reject a deal, Politico reports, and Republicans are already pressing for amendments that could jeopardize talks. (Read more Iran stories.)