Japan not to follow US on Iran

IRNA – The Japanese Foreign Minister Tarō Kōno said Japan will not follow US in blacklisting the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday night, Kōno said Japan is not supposed to obey US on designating IRGC as a terrorist organization.

He added that Japan has preserved its close ties with Iran.

Tokyo will just mention the major points and will continue solving problem through negotiations, he noted.

The US President Donald Trump in a statement on Monday accused the IRGC of being ‘the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign’.

“We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iranian regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior,” Trump said.

In reaction to the US designation, Iran’s Ambassador to London Hamid Baeedinejad said the US move against IRGC at a time when the Iranian military body is helping the flood-hit people with all in power is a gift to Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to assist him in the elections.

The latest anti-Iran move of Trump was also met with fierce reactions from Iranian officials.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recommended that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) should add American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), to its terrorist groups’ list.

In a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, he also called for a retaliatory move by labeling the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist organization and the US government as a terrorist sponsor.

Zarif described the move as ‘another misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu”.

In a related development, Chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh announced on April 8 before the US anti-IRGC decision that Iranian parliament has prepared a double-urgency bill which will be approved in case the US takes possible measures against IRGC.

Falahatpisheh said that if it happens, Iran declares the US military forces as a terrorist group like Daesh (ISIS).

The members of Iranian parliament at Tuesday’s session showed up in official uniforms of IRGC to announce their support and solidarity with the forces.

To support the IRGC, 255 out of 290 Iranian lawmakers issued a statement on April 8, stressing that the Majlis will respond reciprocally to any measure against IRGC as part of the Iranian military forces.

Majlis through its statement described IRGC as one of the great achievements gained after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The New York-based international daily newspaper ‘Wall Street Journal’ tried to justify the decision as a move which was designed as ‘a step that would vastly escalate the American pressure campaign against Tehran, but which has divided the US officials’.

The Iranian forces in coordination with governments in Iraq and Syria have played a military advisory role in fighting the terrorist group in both countries. Iraq in 2017 officially announced the defeat of Daesh, while Syria has managed to retake most of the fallen areas from the terrorists thanks to IRGC assistance.