IRGC lieutenant commander plays down Trump’s N.Deal recertification game

FNA- Deputy Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps General Hossein Salami in powerful remarks on Thursday said the US president can no way pressure Iran through his threats to drop the nuclear deal, stressing his country would be better off and more powerful without the agreement.

“We have not built our life on the basis of interaction with the US, as the life of the Iranian nation is independent from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)”, Gen. Salami said during a public address in the Central city of Najafabad in Isfahan province.

“If you intend to abort the deal, you’d better know that we pray God for this, because we would make better progress without the JCPOA,” he continued.

The IRGC deputy chief commander said the US has no place among the geopolitical realities of the world today; “this is what we believe and we live with it”.

“The nuclear deal might be your only option, but it is no option for us at all,” he added.

He advised the US president to open his eyes to realities, saying, “They intend to disarm us, but we tell them that whoever is afraid of our missiles should shelter.”

The IRGC commander further called on Donald Trump to focus on the huge crises that his nation are grappling with instead of starting new crises all over the world.

US President Donald Trump has cast significant doubt over whether he will certify the 2015 deal — which took years to negotiate and limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief — to Congress, as required by law every 90 days. Should he not do so, Congress would have 60 days to decide whether to impose new sanctions, which would put the US in violation of the agreement.

Although all parties concur Iran is compliant with the deal, senior US state department officials have started describing this as merely “tactical” compliance that facilitates malign activities.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has refused to supplement or renegotiate the deal. European allies staunchly defend the deal, which was also signed by China and Russia and endorsed by the UN Security Council. They are keen to preserve the pact to avoid undermining any prospect of talks with North Korea over halting its own nuclear program.

EU Ambassador to the US David O’Sullivan said the EU could move to block the impact of any new nuclear US sanctions to protect European business rights. But it is unclear a US attempt to force renegotiation or new sanctions would see the agreement survive. “The deal collapses without America,” said Mark Dubowitz, an Iran hawk who advises the Trump administration and wants Trump to decertify the current deal to secure further leverage with Europeans.