IRGC Top Commander: Sanctions Removal May Push N. Talks into Failure
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned on Saturday that all sanctions against Iran should be removed in a single step, otherwise the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers could end up in failure.
Addressing a gathering of IRGC commanders on Saturday, Gen. Jafari said the “nuclear technology is a symbol of the Iranian nation’s power, honor and capability” and the US is “seeking to break the nation’s resistance against Washington’s hegemonic policies through the nuclear talks by forcing Iran to withdraw from its positions under the pressure of the sanctions.
“The main goal of the enemy is changing the attitude of the establishment as it wrongly believes that it can do so through the nuclear negotiations and economic sanctions…,” the IRGC top commander said, reiterating that past experience all throughout the last 36 years displays that the US attempt is “destined to failure”.
He said nuclear technology means to the Iranians as “resistance for protecting rights and standing up to the enemy’s bullying”.
The General reminded that Iran has always been under intensifying sanctions all throughout the years after the revolution, and added, “The significance of the talks … lies in the fact that these sanctions should all be removed in a single phase in lieu of the concessions that Iran provides.”
Maj. Gen. Jafari once again emphasized that irrespective of the results of the nuclear talks, Iran will stay on its Islamic and revolutionary values, principles and stances and would never be coaxed or intimidated into giving up its present course of action and policy.
“No binding agreement has been made yet; only some solutions have been found and the enemy seems to have admitted the Islamic Republic’s principles and redlines in area of technical issues. Yet, there are still ambiguities about the way the sanctions should be lifted, which need to become transparent; we should know that this very issue about the sanctions removal can lead to failure in (obtaining a final) agreement,” the IRGC top commander warned.
In similar remarks on Tuesday, Gen. Jafari underscored that termination of all sanctions and possession of the full nuclear fuel cycle are 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 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 in his Tuesday remarks that a difficult path is still ahead of diplomatic efforts given the US untrustworthiness and non-commitment to its undertakings.
The remarks by the top commander seem to be a response to the statements made by various US officials in the last week that a pact with Tehran would not go through unless sanctions are removed in phases.
“The fact of the matter is we have a framework and the president said if the details don’t bear out the agreement that was reached, we’re not going to get a final deal,” Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, said in Panama on the opening day of the Summit of the Americas on Friday.
“I think it’s very clear and understood that sanctions relief will be phased, with respect to Iran,” he reiterated, according to a washington examiner report.
However, critics say the Obama administration has oversold the “historic understanding” with Iran that the president hailed last week, and argue the White House is desperate to put a positive spin on talks central to Obama’s legacy, the report added.