“Today, speaking of the dispatch of aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf is nothing new and they are attempting to magnify the shadow of war,” Rear Admiral Khanzadi said in the Southern city of Bandar Abbas on Sunday night.
“Their presence in the region is theatrical and useless,” he underlined.
Rear Admiral Khanzadi reiterated the Iranian Armed Forces’ full preparedness to defend the country’s borders against any threats.
He also addressed the Persian Gulf littoral states, saying, “The presence of Americans in the Persian Gulf region has come to an end and they should leave the region and those countries which have pinned hope on such present powers as the Americans should fill this vacuum.”
Rear Admiral Khanzadi underscored that the only way to fill this vacuum is regional cooperation and creating desirable trends to increase the regional power, adding, “This will happen in the near future and there is no doubt about it.”
In relevant remarks on Sunday, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami downplayed deployment of the US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf as psychological warfare against Iran, saying that Washington was not brave enough to launch a war.
“Dispatching the US aircraft carrier to the regional waters is nothing but psychological warfare and the US wants to intimidate people and some officials of war,” Mohammad Ali Pourmokhtar, a senior Iranian legislator, quoted General Salami as saying in a closed-door session with the parliamentarians in Tehran.
“The IRGC commander said that US war on Iran is impossible and the US lacks power and does not dare to start a war against Iran,” the MP told FNA.
According to Pourmokhtar, General Salami underlined Iran’s high defense power and the vulnerability of the US carriers as why Washington would not dare to take the risk of war against Iran.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton announced last week that the US would send the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier and its associated strike group to the waters near Iran to “send a message” and respond to what he called as vague threats.
But analysts believe that the US is sending the powerful carrier to do something that it’s arguably ill-suited for, putting thousands of sailors at a major military disadvantage. And if a conflict were to arise, the sinking of a US aircraft carrier would be in Iran’s sights.
Also, military experts have said that the carrier’s deployment to Iran’s nearby waters may have been planned long ago.
Also, US media reports said on Friday that the White House had contacted Swiss officials and given them a phone number for Iran to directly call Trump as tensions rise between the two countries.
“I’d like to see them call me,” Trump said Thursday, referring to the Iranian officials.
Meantime, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the Trump administration did not want war with Iran.
In response, Tehran stressed that Donald Trump and his administration are needed to shift policies and correct their approach to get rid of the present crisis instead of sending his phone number, saying ironically that “Americans have our number if needed”.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi reacted to the report and Trump’s remarks on Saturday, saying, “There is no need for a mediator or phone number for Trump to get rid of the hard and critical conditions that he has created for himself and the US.”
He stressed the necessity for Washington to correct its policy and behavior to get out of the crisis and tensions that it has created, adding that the entire world has admitted that the White House policies, its withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions against Iran, are wrong.
Asked what Iran will do with the phone number Trump has provided to the Swiss officials, Araqchi said, “If needed, they have our phone number.”
Elsewhere, he described US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 conditions for Iran as “very ridiculous”, saying, “In my view, the White House lacks an integrated and rational policy on Iran, the entire region and perhaps at the international level; the affairs will be corrected by correcting Washington’s fully wrong policies and behaviors.”
By saying that “we can make a deal, a fair deal, we just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons – not too much to ask”, Trump has scrimped Pompeo’s 12 conditions to one which has already been met by Iran’s implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal, Araqchi added.
Washington withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran’s oil sales.
Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.
In 2018, all the other signatories — Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the EU — refused to follow the US example and confirmed their commitment to the accord, trying to save the deal with the Islamic Republic.
Iranian officials then warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country’s patience.
Yet, Iran continued compliance with deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance.
Europeans’ honesty in dealing with the Iran nuclear deal has always been seriously doubted by Iranian masses that were discontent with talks with European states.
Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.
Until now, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.
In return, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on Wednesday that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not any more see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves,” the statement said.
The statement gave the Group 4+1 (China, Russia, Britain and France plus Germany) “60 days to put into action their nuclear deal undertakings, specially in the banking and oil sectors, warning that “in case these countries fail to meet Iran’s demands, the Islamic Republic of Iran will cease implementation of restrictions on uranium enrichment levels and measures related to the modernization of Arak Heavy Water Reactor as well”.
“Once our demands are met, we will resume implementation of the ceased undertakings. Otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will stop compliance with its other undertakings in consequent phases,” the SNSC warned.
It underlined Iran’s readiness to continue its consultations with the countries which have remained in the nuclear deal at all levels “but will show a firm and rapid reaction to any irresponsible measure, including referring the issue to the UN Security Council or imposition of more sanctions”.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s president has in his letter to the leaders of the nuclear deal member states clearly reminded them of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s type of reaction,” the statement added.
It reminded the G4+1 of Iran’s good will during the nuclear talks, implementation of the nuclear deal and giving sufficient time to the other signatories to implement the deal, saying that it is now their turn to prove their good will and adopt serious and practical measures to protect the nuclear deal.
“The door of diplomacy will not remain open for a long time and the US and other members remaining under the nuclear deal are fully responsible for failure of the nuclear deal and any possible consequences,” the statement said.
It underlined that the decision was made in line with defending the Iranian nation’s security and national interests and materialization of Iran’s rights stated in the paragraphs 26 and 36 of the nuclear deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a letter on Wednesday informed the Group 4+1 on stopping implementation of a number of Tehran’s undertakings stated in the 2015 nuclear deal.
Araqchi submitted the letter to the ambassadors of the G4+1 to Tehran after they were called to the foreign ministry on Wednesday morning.
The letter contained decisions by the SNSC to “halt implementation of a number of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s undertakings under the nuclear deal”.
Also, another letter was sent by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday morning to inform her of details of Iran’s measures.
Top EU diplomats said on Thursday they remain committed to the deal but will not bend to any ultimatums.
“We strongly urge Iran to continue to implement its commitments under the JCPOA in full as it has done until now and to refrain from any escalatory steps,” the officials noted in a statement.
“We reject any ultimatums and we will assess Iran’s compliance on the basis of Iran’s performance regarding its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons),” they added.