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The commander of Iran’s Basij force, Mohammad Reza Naghdi, has said that if U.S President Barack Obama visits Iran, he will confess to “his mistakes” as did Abdolmalek Rigi, the recently captured head of the rebel Sunni group Jundollah.

Rigi, whose group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in recent years, appeared on Iran’s English-language Press TV just two days after his arrest and confessed to ties with the Obama administration.

He said he was contacted by the Americans after Obama was elected and a meeting was arranged in Dubai. He said the United States provided him with arms and training and promised him a base in the region.

Iran has a long record of airing televised confessions by political prisoners. Many of them, after being released, have said that they were forced into making false confessions.

But Naghdi refuted such suggestions. In comments published on the “Tabnak” website, which is close to the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohsen Rezai, he said that Iran’s “enemy” had claimed that Rigi confessed under the influence of drugs but that “48 hours is such a short time that no drugs or injections could have such an effect."

Naghdi added that Rigi confessed under the influence of Islam and said that the religion is so strong it can break even Iran’s staunchest enemies.

“This thug [Rigi] was nothing. Even if Obama, who Rigi confessed to have cooperated with, comes to Iran, he will confess his mistakes under the influence of this [pure form of] Islam,” Naghdi said.

The United States has rejected claims that it backs Rigi and his group.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

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