“The drills were held with the aim of controlling and safeguarding the security of the international waterway and within the framework of the IRGC’s planned annual wargames and based on the calendar,” Sharif said on Sunday.
He added that after the drills, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari appreciated and lauded the IRGC Navy and Aerospace Force for staging the successful wargames, and stressed the necessity for maintaining and enhancing all-out defensive preparedness to establish security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz and confront enemies’ possible threats and adventurism in a proper way.
The wargames were held after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned his US counterpart Donald Trump last month against the unbearable costs and dire consequences of blocking Iran’s oil exports, saying belligerency against Iran would the “mother of wars”.
“The regional states are either afraid of the US or do not trust it. Anyone who understands politics a little bit would never say that he/she would prevent exports of Iran’s oil. We have many Straits. The Strait of Hormuz is just one of them,” President Rouhani said, addressing the Iranian ambassadors to foreign states in Tehran on Sunday, repeating his earlier tacit threat that Tehran would close off the Strait of Hormuz in response to any move by the US to zero its crude supplies.
He stressed that Iran has been the guarantor of security in the Strait of Hormuz all throughout the history, saying, “Mr. Trump! Do not twist the lion’s tail because you will regret. You are not able to provoke the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests.”
“The Americans should come to realize this point well that peace with Iran would be the mother of all peaces and war with Iran would be the mother of all wars. We do not quiver from threats and we have a deterrent power. Today our internal unity is more than before, threats make us more coherent and we will definitely beat the US,” Rouhani said, and added, “We would sustain costs, but will earn greater interests.”
President Rouhani underscored that the new conditions created after the US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal is an opportunity for relations with the world, exports and home-made production, saying, “Today, talks with the US has no other meaning but surrendering and putting an end to the Iranian nation’s achievements. If we surrender to a liar bullying person like Trump, they will plunder Iran.”
Addressing a group of Iranians in Switzerland on July 2, President Rouhani had also said that “it would be meaningless that Iran cannot export its oil while others in the region can. Do this if you can and see its consequences”.
He also underlined that Tehran will never give in to pressure forced upon it by foreign countries.
After his remarks, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned the US not to make any stupid move to halt Iran’s oil exports, and said the IRGC is fully prepared to implement the latest position adopted by President Rouhani with regard to closing the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
“We stand ready to put in action President Hassan Rouhani’s latest position that if Tehran were not able to export its crude oil through the Strait of Hormuz, no other country would be able to do so,” General Jafari said.
Also, Commander of the IRGC Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani appreciated President Rouhani for both his remarks against Israel and his warning against any possible US move to stop Iran’s oil exports.
“What has been released in the media about your remarks that if the Islamic Republic of Iran’s oil is not exported, there will be no guarantee for export of oil from any other point in this region, and the highly valuable remarks about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s position on the Zionist regime is a source of pride and honor,” General Soleimani said in a letter to Rouhani.
He praised President Rouhani for his timely, wise and correct comments, and underlined his preparedness to exercise any policy that is in the interest of the Islamic Republic.
Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on Saturday supported President Rouhani’s remarks that any attempt to block Iran’s oil sales would have dire consequences, including for other regional states’ crude exports.
“President’s remarks in his recent trip to Europe stating, ‘if Iran’s oil export is blocked, no other country in the region will export oil either’, is a crucial remark expressing the Islamic Republic’s approach,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in Tehran, addressing the foreign minister, staff and officials of the ministry of foreign affairs, as well as Iranian ambassadors and senior diplomats serving abroad.
He asked the foreign ministry to sternly follow up on such stances by the President.
Elsewhere, Ayatollah Khamenei referred to his earlier warnings that the Americans’ words or even signatures cannot be relied on, and said, “Thus, negotiations with the US are useless. The assumption that negotiations or establishing ties with the US would solve the country’s problems is an obvious error.”
“The US has fundamental issues with the essence of the Islamic establishment. Moreover, there are many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America which have relations with the United States, yet they are facing plenty of problems,” he added.
The US authorities seek to return to the position and status they enjoyed in Iran before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and they will not be content with anything less than that, Ayatollah Khamenei warned.
He, meantime, called for continued talks with the European states, but said that the country should make more progress and take the necessary measures to resolve problems without waiting for their package of proposals.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran’s crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.
After Trump’s declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as “unlawful”. The statement underlined Iran’s prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran’s guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.
Two months later, the other five powers party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.
“Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union,” President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.
President Rouhani pointed to US’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, “After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business.”
The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.
President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, “Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions.”
The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.
“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.
But the Vienna talks July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.
On July 8, the Iranian parliament’s research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.
The comprehensive “active anti-sanctions plan” that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.
The program that mainly aims to make the country “unsanctionable” has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.
Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country’s economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran’s economy step-by-step.
The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.
The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.
Meantime, several other plans have also been compiled by university and research centers for improving economy through reinvigoration of national potentials to make the country sanctions-proof.