IRGC Chief Stresses Buildup of Iran’s Defense Power as US Exits JCPOA

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The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps called for boosting Iran’s defense capabilities following the US exit from the JCPOA, saying the move proved that America is against Iran’s defense and missile power and is using Iran’s peaceful nuclear program just as an excuse.

Addressing a military conference in Tehran on Wednesday, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, is regarded as “a good omen” that “would have no determining impact on any area” that may threaten Iran’s national interests.

“From now on, we, the Armed Forces, should pay more and deeper attention to enhancement of defense power and pursue the main factors of our own power,” Major General Jafari added.

The US exit from the JCPOA revealed that Iran’s uranium enrichment program was only a pretext (for mounting pressure on Iran), while the US main problem with the Islamic Republic is its defense and missile power and regional influence, he added.

The commander further played down hopes about survival of the JCPOA with the European parties, saying Europe is affiliated with the US and will definitely stand with it.

In a speech from the White House on Tuesday night, Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and seeking nukes before announcing the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Following the controversial decision, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran weighs plans to remain in the agreement with the other five parties, namely Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, provided that the remaining JCPOA parties ensure its full benefits for Iran.

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