Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri underlined that Iranian people disliked the 2015 nuclear deal since the very first day, but they signed it to prove their good will.
“The enemies embarked on an economic war when they realized that military attack against Iran is impossible. In the US, the treasury department has long been after preventing Iran from obtaining even one dollar,” General Baqeri said, addressing a forum in Tehran on Tuesday.
He said that the US president has in the past 1.5 years been pressuring the defense secretary to prepare for aggression against Iran but the US army has dissuaded him due to the high costs and tolls of the military option, adding that the young Saudi crown prince is also willing to collaborate with Washington in any possible war against Iran “but they don’t dare”.
Baqeri underlined that the Iranian nation did a favor to accept the 2015 nuclear deal, and said, “The nuclear deal was disliked by the Iranian nation and was not something that we wanted to accept, but the nation accepted it” to show to the world its maximum good will efforts; yet the world witnessed that the US didn’t remain committed even to its own signature.
He stressed that the US retreat from the nuclear deal was an experience which indicated that “we should rely on ourselves”.
US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that the US will 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 in response to Tehran’s development of its nuclear program.
After Trump’s declaration, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he has ordered his atomic chief to stay on alert to resume suspended nuclear activities, stressing that Tehran will stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with other signatories if only other parties to the deal ensure all its interests and economic merits.
While stressing that Trumps decision was a historical experience for Iran, Rouhani noted that the US president has a history of undermining international treaties. Rouhani also noted that Iran would remain in the nuclear deal without the US’ presence for the next few weeks to see results of negotiations with Europeans.
Rouhani added that he has ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to be prepared for resuming nuclear enrichment at the industrial level.
“I have ordered AEOI to go ahead with adequate preparations to resume enrichment at the industrial level without any limit,” he said.
He further added that from now on everything depends on Iran’s national interests.
“Trump’s decision was the beginning of a psychological war against Iran, our heroic people will not be affected by this psychological attack,” said Rouhani.
Rouhani also noted that from now on the JCPOA is between Iran and the five remaining countries, but stressed that Iran would stay under the deal if all its interests are met.
He further noted that the Iranian Foreign Ministry would be negotiating with European countries, Russia, and China in the coming weeks.
Also, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Trump’s move, referring to it as “unlawful”, while adding that the outcome of further diplomatic efforts will determine Iran’s response.
In response to US persistent violations and unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I’ll spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran. Outcome will determine our response.
“In response to US persistent violations & unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I’ll spearhead a diplomatic effort to examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for Iran. Outcome will determine our response,” he tweeted.
The European Union, France, Britain and Germany have expressed regret over Trump’s decision about the deal.
Iran has on numerous occasions asserted that its nuclear program is merely peaceful and not meant to make nukes.