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Iranian DM: US Blacklisting of IRGC Meant to Help Terrorists

13 October 2017 17:51

 

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami blasted the US possible plan to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, stressing that actions against an anti-terrorism body would only benefit the terrorists.

General Hatami described the IRGC as the most important anti-terrorism force in the region which is at the frontline of the fight against terrorists, saying that the IRGC has made great sacrifice for the security and peace of the Middle-East.

He noted that the US blacklisting of the IRGC is itself a terrorist move because it will help the terrorists and deteriorate instability in the region and beyond.

Iran’s defense minister noted that Tehran will not allow the US to disrupt regional stability through proxy wars.

He stressed that the Islamic Republic’s three branches of power together with its Armed Forces are united in countering such plots.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi warned that his country considers sanctions and blacklisting of the IRGC as declaration of war by Washington.

“Given the fact that armies and armed forces guarantee protection and security of countries, we see such a move as declaration of war,” Salehi said, addressing a group of media elites and analysts of British think tanks in London.

He also warned that breaching the 2015 nuclear deal by the US President Donald Trump will entail global repercussions.

In relevant remarks on Monday night, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned of his country’s tough reaction to Washington’s possible labeling of the IRGC as a terrorist group.

“If the US officials make such a strategic mistake, the Islamic Republic will certainly reciprocate,” Zarif said in an interview with the state TV.

He underlined that his country has planned certain countermeasures which will be declared in due time.

Elsewhere, Zarif rejected talks about Tehran’s missile or defense programs, stressing, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense power is aimed at defending the country against any negative will against the nation and is not negotiable.”

His remarks came after IRGC top Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said imposition of new sanctions by Washington against Iran means a US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and warned that the US should leave the region and stay 2,000km away from Iran if the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) comes into effect.

“The Islamic Republic (of Iran) sees implementation of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as the US unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal and as we have declared in the past too, if the US new sanctions act comes into action, the country (the US) should transfer its regional bases to 2,000km away, that is as far as the range of Iranian missiles,” General Jafari said on Sunday.

Away from CAATSA that puts Iran under presidential executive order 13224 and considers the IRGC as an entity supporting terrorist groups, Gen. Jafari noted reports coming from Washington that the US president’s new strategy intends to designate the IRGC itself as a terrorist organization, and issued a tough warning to Donald Trump, saying, “If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also specify the US army as a group (and target) like ISIL in all parts of the world, specially the Middle-East.”

He further noted the US objective behind its growing hostilities towards Iran, saying the US is wrong to think that threatening Iran and imposing new sanctions on the country can force Tehran to sit to the negotiating table on the regional issues.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran intends to solve the regional issues somewhere else other than the negotiating table; (the US should know that) there is (absolutely) nothing and no one to negotiate about or with,” the IRGC chief commander stressed.

He said any new US sanctions would ruin the chances for any kind of interaction “forever”. “These sanctions accomplish the experience of the nuclear deal for us. An experience that showed that the US makes use of talks as a means of pressure and hostility rather than interaction or problem solving.”

“The Americans should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will use the opportunity provided by the Trump administration’s stupid behavior towards the nuclear deal to make a leap in its conventional defense, missile and regional programs,” he added.

CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia. The bill was passed during the 115th Congress, 98–2 in the Senate. In the part that pertains to Iran (also known as Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Actions Act or CIDAA), the sanctions act focuses on punishments specifically addressed at the IRGC.

On August 2, 2017, President Donald Trump signed it into law while issuing two statements simultaneously that he believed the legislation was significantly flawed.

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