IRGC Commander Describes Termination of All Sanctions as Iran’s Redline
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari underscored that termination of all sanctions and possession of the full nuclear fuel cycle as Iran’s redline in any nuclear agreement with the world powers.
“In addition to the right of possessing the nuclear enrichment cycle and Research and Development (R&D), termination of all the relevant sanctions which are the centerpiece of the Iranian nation’s demands are our redline,” Jafari said, addressing the IRGC commanders in Tehran on Tuesday.
He, meantime, appreciated the Iranian diplomats and negotiators for their efforts, resistance and emphasis on the redlines, and said after the preliminary agreement between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) in Lausanne, the US president admitted that the military option and continued sanctions against Iran will make the country stronger and more determined.
“The US which was seeking to change Iran’s political behavior was forced to change its political behavior towards our people, and contrary to its previous policy, it was forced to forget all its over-the-table options and replace them with the diplomatic path to settle the nuclear issue,” Jafari said.
He said “the Iranian nation’s resistance made the US fail in imposing its political will on the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
Jafari, meantime, said that a difficult path is still ahead of diplomatic efforts given the US untrustworthiness and non-commitment to its undertakings.
In relevant remarks on Monday, Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said the untruthfulness of Washington officials in their remarks about the Lausanne Statement issued jointly by Iran and the six world powers displayed that the US was an untrustworthy partner to any deal.
“The comments made after the Lausanne negotiations once again showed the United States’ strong grudge against the Iranians and proved that the US officials are liars and untrustworthy,” Naqdi said, addressing Basij personnel in Tehran.
“After 9 days of breathtaking nuclear negotiations in Lausanne, the US president and other officials now deny the principal agreements and present opposing interpretations,” the influential commander said, and continued, “They cite Iran’s undertakings, but fabricate and deny the commitments that they have made to the Iranian delegation.”
He said the Americans defy their agreements and do not comply with their undertakings due to their wrong impression of the effects and efficiency power of the sanctions.
“The Americans do not want to lose their main pressure leverage, and they are in a rush to strike a deal because inefficiency of the sanctions is growing increasingly evident, and in the near future no one would comply with them,” the Basij commander concluded.
Iran and the G5+1 started their new round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, late in March to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.
After nine days of hard work, the seven nations reached an understanding on Thursday which laid the ground for them to start drafting the final nuclear deal.
Reading out a joint statement at a press conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, Zarif said according to the agreement, all the US, EU and UN Security Council sanctions against Iran will be lifted under the final deal.
“Our decision today that will be the agreed base for the final text of the Joint Plan of Action (the final deal) is of vital importance,” Zarif said, reading the joint statement at the press conference.
“Now we can start drafting the final agreement and its annexations by relying on the solutions achieved in the last few days,” he said after eight days of marathon talks with negotiators from the six world powers.
“As Iran continues its peaceful nuclear program, the degree and capacity of its enrichment and the size of its (enriched uranium) stockpile will be limited for specific periods and Natanz will be the only enrichment center in Iran. Nuclear enrichment R&D on centrifuge machines in Iran will be conducted on the basis of an agreed timeline and level.”
Zarif said Fordo will turn from a nuclear enrichment plant to a nuclear, physics and technological center, where Iran will receive international cooperation.
The Iranian foreign minister also said the country’s Arak Heavy Water Reactor will remain in place after being redesigned and renovated through international cooperation, stressing that the facility will remain a Heavy Water Reactor in nature, but will produce plutonium which won’t have the capability to be used for nuclear weapons production.
He said “there won’t be any reprocessing at the Arak facility and its consumed nuclear fuel will be sent” abroad.
“A collection of arrangements have been agreed for supervising the implementation of the contents of the Joint Plan of Action (final deal) which will include Safeguard Code 3.1 and voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol (to the NPT); the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will also use modern inspection technologies and will be given more agreed access to verify past and present issues,” Zarif said.
He said Iran will partner in international nuclear projects, “including power plant and research reactor construction as well as nuclear safety and security”.
Zarif stressed that all sanctions against Iran will be lifted.
He said all UN Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran will be annulled as they did not help the settlement of the nuclear standoff between Iran and the six world powers.
“The EU will terminate imposition of its nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the United States will also stop implementation of its nuclear-related financial and economic sanctions simultaneous with the implementation of Iran’s major nuclear undertakings in a way that they are verified by the IAEA,” Zarif said.
Zarif said the final deal will be endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution in a move to annul all the previous nuclear-related resolutions against Iran.
He said drafting of the deal will start soon to prepare the Joint Plan of Action by the July 1 deadline.
In a subsequent solo press conference, Zarif warned that Tehran will reciprocate any violation of the final nuclear deal by the six world powers with similar action.
Zarif told reporters that the agreements and the shared understanding developed in the last eight days of talks will be the basis for working out a final nuclear deal after the inclusion of details and mechanisms for implementing them.
Zarif reiterated that a final deal should be worked out in the next three months.
He said Iran is committed to the documents that it signs and expects the six world powers to do the same.
Zarif said work will continue by the seven nations “to proceed based on their present shared understanding”, adding that the seven nations should look ahead with optimism “and if any problem arises, we should sit and talk based on mutual respect, and then move ahead”.
Asked about Iran’s possible reaction if the opposite side defies its undertakings under the pretext of having a different interpretation of the solutions gained, he said that the seven nations party to the nuclear talks might present today’s agreement in different ways as they see fit.
“What was agreed as different solutions to achieve a comprehensive joint plan of action is based on a win-win approach that will end the sanctions against Iran.”
“Iran’s nuclear program will continue, but we will adopt measures to build confidence at international level,” he added.
He said Iran will inspect the opposite sides’ actions and attitude precisely to verify their compliance with the terms of the final deal, once the document is drafted and put into effect.
“There will be a text on which we will agree and move ahead step by step and all the mechanisms should go into effect article by article. We will be ready to remove any pretext or excuse that could be sought by the western side through logic and reasoning.”
“But if lack of action is witnessed, reciprocal measures will be taken,” the Iranian foreign minister warned.
Zarif underlined that Iran’s nuclear R&D will continue and none of Iran’s nuclear facilities will be shut down.
He repeated that all the US, EU and UN security council sanctions against will be removed.
He said over 5,000 centrifuge machines will work at Natanz to do industrial-scale enrichment for Iran, while around 1,000 more centrifuges will operate at Fordo, but not for industrial-scale uranium enrichment.
He appreciated the Iranian Supreme Leader for his support throughout the talks as well as the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi for his technical contribution to the negotiations.