Mohsen Rafighdoust, the first IRGC minister, has claimed that Iran possesses hostages from major world powers.

In an interview in local media, he said in the event of an attack on Iran, “the Islamic Republic has the capability to eliminate the hostages within a mere half-hour.”

While he has no current official role, and Iranian officials may deny or distance themselves from his remarks. Iran has recently exchanged five US hostages in exchange for the release of $6bn of frozen Iranian funds in South Korea. However, the regime consistently claims that it does not take or hold hostages.