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‘Iran to fight US economic terror with defensive might’

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami says the country reserves the right to fight America's "economic terrorism" with its defensive military might, after Washington announced that it won't renew sanctions waivers for oil purchases from the Islamic Republic.

“In order to safeguard the prosperity of our nation and counter America’s economic terrorism, we reserve our right to use defensive measures,” Hatami told the Conference on International Security in Moscow on Wednesday.

“We believe that the West’s inaction against the US is encouraging the audacity of the White House leaders.”

The administration of US President Donald Trump has said it seeks to stop Iranian oil sales by imposing sanctions on countries that continue purchasing Iranian crude after May 1.

In May 2018, Trump quit the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran that guaranteed the Islamic Republic’s oil sales and the lifting of US sanctions on the country in return for a number of voluntary limitations on parts of its peaceful nuclear energy program.

Previously, the US had issued waivers to its sanctions for eight major buyers of Iranian crude.

Hatami said he did not think that Washington’s “inhumane intentions” in targeting the interests and the prosperity of the Iranian nation would bear fruit.

“I hereby declare as the defense minister of Iran that we will never back down for even a moment from protecting Iran’s security and sovereignty despite the hot air that comes from the American regime and some European governments that cannot stand Iran’s ability to defend itself, and we will continue on our righteous path to boost our defensive prowess based on a doctrine of deterrence,” he asserted.

‘US move against IRGC can lead to world war; Trump a new Hitler’

The Iranian defense minister also blasted Trump’s recent move to designate the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, and condemned some government’s indifference to the decision.

“I warn those countries and governments that not only will this silence affect the people of Western Asia, but it will lead the world towards much more serious consequences like the Second World War,” he warned.

The senior Iranian defense official argued that “sanctions and intimidation” are products of an inaccurate understanding of security, an issue that he said has been trying to force itself upon the world after the Second World War.

“The West has already experienced the lethal consequences of non-intervention in the face of racism and selfishness, and [witnessed] the death of millions of European citizens in the Second World War,” he said. “And now, a new type of Nazism has emerged in the shape of Trumpism.”

“The continuation of this trend can lead the world to an ill-omened conflict,” Hatami further warned. “Thus, it is time to prevent the emergence of another Hitler on the global stage.”

‘Daesh result  of security commercialization’

Hatami described Daesh as a product of commercialization of security and said the US has been doing its utmost to keep the group alive for “another two or three decades” but failed thanks to a years-long fight by Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia.

Hatami noted that while Trump was forced to declare the end of Daesh last year, “the factors that gave way to radicalized ideologies and terrorism are still at work.”

He said the US was still trying to help Daesh thrive by allowing the group to grow in Afghanistan.

According to the Defense Minister, the same players who hindered the full return of peace to Iraq and Syria also encouraged the onslaught of Yemeni people and stirred more insecurity in Afghanistan.

‘Persian Gulf regimes turning into weapons depot’

Hatami said certain Western “exploitative powers” had turned the Persian Gulf region into a vast weapons depot.

“With the end of Daesh’s presence in Iraq and having purged terrorists from most of Syria, reconstruction work has already begun in these countries and the Iranian nation and government will stand with them in this stage as well,” Hatami added.

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