“Why would they sanction us over the nuclear issue, while the entire world knows we do not pursue [nuclear] weapons?“ asked Major General Hossein Salami, who was speaking from the holy city of Mashhad, Tasnim News Agency reported on Monday.
“Actually, they sanctioned us for [our] knowledge,” he added. “They are fighting us over knowledge because they know that knowledge forms the plank of every nation’s power, and underdeveloped countries become dependent [on others],” the commander said.
The United States has been leading an international drive to keep Iran under sanctions over its nuclear energy program. It lifted the sanctions for a space of three years after coming to a multi-lateral nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic in 2015.
Washington, however, left the accord under President Donald Trump last year and reinstated the bans, discrediting the efforts that had been made under the previous American administration towards striking the deal.
Both the US’s withdrawal and its reintroduction of the sanctions came while the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been ratified in the form of a United Nations Security Council resolution.
After leaving the deal, Trump has, on several occasions, claimed he would seek to block, what he has called, Iran’s potential attainment of nuclear arms.
This is while Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited such pursuit over religious concerns.
Salami likewise reminded that there is no place across the Islamic doctrine for nuclear arms. “Islam never brooks weapons of mass destruction because in the Islamic logic, reviving a human being translates into reviving the entire humanity and killing one is similar to killing all humans,” he asserted.
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Citing the example of efforts aimed at precluding enrichment of Iran’s knowledge, he referred to assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated by the Israeli regime between 2010 and 2012.
“Our magnanimous Leader has taught us that we have to become knowledgeable in order to be able to grow,” Salami said, adding, “It is for this reason that the enemy assassinated our scientists on the street to show how it would try to stand up to Iran’s scientific progress.”
However, Iran has continued to march onwards and has now transformed into an advanced country boasting incredible scientific and technological capacities, the commander said.
Salami referred to the country’s defensive achievements as manifested by the Corps’ downing of an intrusive American spy drone in southern Iran last month.