Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami underlined Iran’s definite decision to increase power, advising the US new administration not to continue the failed policies of Donald Trump.
The conditions indicate that resistance has yielded results. Growing stronger is our definitive path because in today world we should either be strong or surrender and there is no third way,” General Salami said, addressing a ceremony to deliver 340 new speedboats to the IRGC Navy with the capability to fire different missiles and rockets and support diving operations in the Southern port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday.
“We tell the Americans that you have failed in the battlefield of pressure against the Iranian nation. Do not repeat the failed policies. The Iranian nation will not exchange its independence with (removal of sanctions); we have overcome the embargo and its consequences and defeated its architects; what (progress) you see today was achieved during the embargos era,” he added.
General Salami also referred to the normalization of ties between a number of Arab states and Israel, and said, “We tell them not to overspend in the friendship with the Zionists, this is an unhappy marriage that will put both of you on the precipice of fire. Muslims do not accept such behavior from their rulers.”
“Allowing the presence of Zionists on Islamic lands is nothing but enmity with the Muslims and Arabs,” he warned.
His comments came after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that his country will not take steps to return to its nuclear deal undertakings unless it will be able to verify the US practical measures in removing the sanctions against Tehran.
“Iran has fulfilled all its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal, not the US and the three European countries … If they want Iran to return to its commitments, the US must lift all sanctions first,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing the Iranian Army Air Force commanders and staff on the anniversary of the historical pledging allegiance of Air Force commanders with late Imam Khomeini on February 8, 1979.
He underlined that the side with the right to set conditions to return to the JCPOA undertakings is Iran since it abided by all its commitments, not the US or the 3 European countries which breached theirs, adding, “If they want Iran to return, the US should lift all sanctions. We’ll verify and if it’s done properly, we’ll return to our undertakings.”
“This is the definite policy of the Islamic Republic and it is also agreed upon by the officials of the country and we will not return from this policy,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, stressing that no one in Iran listens to what the US and European officials say about preconditions for lifting sanctions.
He also underlined the US miscalculation in understanding the Iranian nation during the 1979 Revolution, and said, “Therefore, they failed. During the 2009 sedition, the Democrat president backed the sedition. Trump failed in his Maximum pressure policy too. They’re still miscalculating.”
“One of the first-rate fools in the Trump administration had said they would celebrate New Year 2019 in Tehran. He was thrown into history’s trash bin. His boss was also kicked into history’s trash can, while the Islamic Republic is standing strong,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“One should know the US properly. Their recent incidents were a fiasco. Trump’s fall wasn’t just the fall of an unfit president. It was the decline of the US power and social order. Speaking of US’s decline from within and the start of a post-US era are the words of some US experts, not ours,” he added.
“The US is truly declining, and this has distressed and stunned some of their allies in the region. The Zionist officials’ nonsense (words) stems from their fear of the US domestic situation and they’ve realized this well. The world is watching US power decline internally and internationally,” the Iranian Leader stressed.
“Some regimes’ biggest mistake is that they want the US to bring them national security. They spend billions of dollars, are humiliated and in the end the US doesn’t give them security when needed. Examples are what happened to US allies in Egypt, Tunisia, and Pahlavi in Iran,” he said.
Iranian officials have several times underlined the need for Washington to lift all sanctions against the country before Tehran’s steps to reverse its modified nuclear deal undertakings.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf last Sunday blasted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent remarks, saying that Tehran is waiting for the Biden government’s practical measures to lift sanctions rather than speaking of preconditions.
“Mr. Biden’s administration should clarify how it wants to fulfill its promise of removing sanctions in practice rather than setting preconditions for implementing its undertakings,” Qalibaf said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran.
He described Blinken’s recent comments as “disappointing”, and said, “If the US believes in the nuclear deal, it should display its commitment to it in practice instead of setting preconditions.”
Qalibaf’s remarks came after Blinken in his recent remarks said, “With regard to Iran, President Biden has been very clear in saying that if Iran comes back to compliance with obligations under the JCPOA, the United States would do the same thing.”
“And then we would use that as a platform to build with our allies and partners what we call a longer and stronger agreement and to deal with others issues that are deeply problematic in the relationship with Iran,” he added.
Qalibaf said that the Iranian people are so much smart not to enter a game which wants Iran to adopt practical measures vis a vis mere promises.
Also, last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced pleasure with the end of Trump’s tenure, saying that the new administration in the White House should take the opportunity to implement all Washington’s nuclear deal undertakings.
“Today, thanks God, Trump’s black page will be closed forever, and we say thanks God when any oppressor is overthrown,” Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.
He added that during his 4-year tenure, Trump left no legacy but making the US society bipolar, adding that Washington DC has become a military garrison for the swearing-in ceremony of the new president and all these Armed Forces have come to establish security in this city, and this is one of the fruits of Trump’s naive or authoritarian actions.
“We have never seen a president in the US who explicitly admits assassination of a major military commander (General Soleimani) in another guest country (Iraq) to make the official announcement that he had ordered the assassination. I mean, we really saw a stupid terrorist in history, and state terrorism was recorded in the forehead of the White House, and he did it,” Rouhani said.
He called on the new US administration to return to the international laws, undertakings and the UNSC resolutions, specially Resolution 2231, and said, “Of course, if they return to the law, our answer will be positive, and if they show their sincerity in action based on the law, the resolution that they voted for and the undertakings that they have signed, we will naturally fulfill all our undertakings too.”
Rouhani referred to Trump’s economic terrorism against Iran which even blocked the country’s purchase of medicine and vaccine, and said, “Thanks God, they have failed. Today, we see that despite all these pressures, our non-oil exports path is normalizing, and our oil exports are much better than the previous months, and our oil products export are moving in the right direction and this means complete failure of this policy.”
He said that Trump was not a politician but was a businessman and a tower builder, adding that the new US administration includes people who are familiar with political affairs.
“If they give a signature on their undertakings under the Resolution 2231, they will see a signature in Iran, and if they issue a decree, they will see a decree for it in Iran too, nothing more; if they fulfill their undertakings effectively, they will witness effective implementation of all undertakings by this side too. Today the ball is in the US and Washington’s court,” President Rouhani stressed.
He noted that Trump’s political life has ended and the nuclear deal is still alive, adding, “He made every attempt to destroy the nuclear deal but he failed, and the extremists in Israel and Saudi Arabia all sought this but failed, and the nuclear deal is alive and well today better than yesterday.”
Rouhani stressed that the maximum pressure policy has failed completely.
Also, last month, Iranian Envoy and Permanent Representative to the UN Majid Takht Ravanchi underlined that if Biden decides to return to the nuclear deal, Washington should comply with all its undertakings in exact accordance with the internationally-endorsed agreement.
“We make decision and take reciprocal action considering Biden’s moves vis a vis the nuclear deal. We have repeatedly demanded the US to return to the nuclear deal and this return should be complete and without preconditions, that is to say, no issue related or unrelated to the nuclear deal should be put forward for discussion,” Takht Ravanchi said.
“It should only be clear that the US international undertakings cannot be half-fulfilled. If they claim to return to the nuclear deal, this return should be accompanied by the full implementation of their undertakings with no hesitation or controversy,” he added.
Takht Ravanchi stressed Iran’s clear position towards the nuclear deal, and said, “We live up to our undertakings.”
He referred to the parliament’s bill to take strategic measures to counter the US sanctions against Iran, and said, “There is a timetable in the parliament’s bill and we are moving in the same direction, so we (at the foreign ministry) are not entitled to specify the period for how long we will wait. In the first place, we make decisions based on national interests, and secondly, we should act on the basis of and within the framework of the parliamentary bill.”
His remarks came after Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the country is at present producing nearly half a kilo of uranium enriched to the 20% purity level, meantime, saying that Tehran’s steps to reduce nuclear deal undertakings after the West’s disloyalties can all be backtracked.
“Based on the latest news I have, they (the Iranian scientists at nuclear installations) are producing 20 grams (of 20% enriched uranium) every hour; meaning that practically, we are producing half a kilo every day,” Salehi said in an interview with the Persian-language Khamenei.ir website released last month.
“We produce and store this 20% (enriched uranium) and if they return to the nuclear deal, we will return to our undertakings too,” he added.
Asked about the recent bill approved by the parliament to adopt strategic measures to remove sanctions against Iran, Salehi said that the AEOI is required to implement it.
“It is a reality and both the government and the AEOI have declared that they do not have any technical problems with implementation of the parliament’s bill and we launched 20% enrichment within 24 hours,” he said.
Salehi also underlined the need for Washington to remove all sanctions against Iran, specially those which prevent the country’s oil sales and banking transactions.
Iranian legislators had in January praised the AEOI for restarting enrichment of uranium at 20-percent purity level, and called for the full implementation of the recent parliamentarian law to counter the illegal US sanctions against the country.
In a statement, 190 legislators expressed their support for the AEOI’s resumption of 20% uranium enrichment and urged the body to fully and precisely implement the law ratified as a counteractive move to the sanctions illegally imposed on the country, especially those by the United States.
The lawmakers said the parliament approved the ‘Strategic Counteractive Plan for Lifting Sanctions and Safeguarding Rights of Iranian People’ to highlight Iran’s legitimate right to use peaceful nuclear technology and the importance of lifting all cruel sanctions against the country.
The Iranian parliamentarians in a meeting on December 1, 2020 ratified the generalities of a bill to adopt strategic measures to remove sanctions against the country and defend the nation’s interests.
The lawmakers, in November, had given the green light to the single-urgency of the strategic motion, but the plan turned into a double-urgency on Sunday after the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s car was targeted by an explosion and machinegun fire in Damavand’s Absard 40 kilometers to the East of Tehran on Friday November 27, 2020.
Under the bill, the AEOI is required to start in two months after the approval of the present bill to produce at least 120 kg of 20%-enriched uranium annually at Fordow nuclear site and store it inside the country, increase the enrichment capacity and production of enriched uranium to at least 500 kg per month, start the installation of centrifuges, gas injection, enrichment, and storage of materials up to proper purity levels within 3 months, via at least 1000 IR-2m centrifuges in the underground part of Shahid Ahmadi Roshan facility in Natanz, transfer any enrichment, research, and development operations of IR-6 centrifuges to the nuclear site of Shahid Ali Mohammadi in Fordow, and start enrichment operation via at least 164 centrifuges and expand it to 1000 by the end of 20 March 2021 (end of the Iranian calendar year) and return the 40 megawatts Arak heavy water reactor to its pre-JCPOA condition by reviving the heart (calandria) of the reactor within 4 months from the date of the adoption of this law.
Also, the government is required to suspend the nuclear deal-based regulatory access beyond the Additional Protocol within 2 months after the adoption of the law based on the articles 36 and 37 of the nuclear deal.
Also, after 3 months from the adoption of this law, if Iran’s banking relations in Europe and the amount of oil purchases by them from Iran is not back to normal and to satisfactory conditions, the government is required to stop the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol.
Meantime, if after 3 months from the adoption of the law, the nuclear deal parties return to fulfill their undertakings, the government is required to submit a proposal to the parliament for Iran’s reciprocal action to return to the nuclear deal undertakings, the bill said.
Iran signed the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China — in 2015.
Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its “so-called maximum pressure policy” has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany — to protect its business interests under the deal after the US’ withdrawal.
On January 5, 2020, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
Meantime, Biden has recently said in a CNN article that he wants a renegotiation of the contents of the deal before he agrees to rejoin the agreement.
“I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations. With our allies, we will work to strengthen and extend the nuclear deal’s provisions, while also addressing other issues of concern,” he wrote, mentioning that he wants changes to the contents of the nuclear deal and guarantees from Tehran that it would be open for compromise to strike multiple deals over its missile and regional powers as well as a number of other issues that have been the bones of contention between the two sides in the last four decades.
In response, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had stressed that the US has violated the nuclear deal and is in no position to ask for any conditions for its return to the JCPOA, adding that it’s Tehran that has its own terms to allow the US back into the internationally endorsed agreement.
The foreign minister has reiterated time and again that Tehran would not change even a single word of the agreement, and cautioned the US that it needs to pay reparations for the damage it has inflicted on Iran through its retreat from the nuclear agreement and give enough insurances that it would not go for initiating the trigger mechanism again before it could get back to the deal.
In relevant remarks earlier this month, Spokesman for the AEOI Behrouz Kamalvandi said his country enjoys the capability to produce 120 kg of uranium with 20% purity in 8 months, that’s 4 months faster than the one-year period required by a recent parliament approval.