• Party that scraps JCPOA damages own reputation: Iran

President Hassan Rouhani warned the administration of US president, Donald Trump, not to make the "grave mistake" of labeling the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist group.

"If the US makes the next mistake and adopts any measure against the IRGC, it will be a grave mistake," he said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

Noting that Washington is mistaken if it considers the IRGC, which is a hugely popular public force, as a mere military body, Rouhani said the popularity of the IRGC is not just embedded in the hearts of the Iranian nation, but it has found its way into the hearts of the Iraqi, Kurdish, Syrian, Lebanese and other Muslim peoples, since it has helped them ward off terrorists and defend their lands.

Earlier on Sunday, in relevant remarks, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the US for its hostile attitude against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and warned of Tehran's tough response if Washington labels the IRGC as a terrorist group.

"It will certainly be a very crushing reaction," Zarif said in response to a question asked by reporters in Tehran on how Iran would react if the US president designates the IRGC as a terrorist group in his new strategy.

His remarks came few hours after top IRGC Commander, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said imposition of new sanctions by Washington against Iran means a US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and warned that if the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) comes into effect, the US should leave the region and stay over 2,000km away from the borders of Iran.

According to Fars News Agency (FNA), he added: “The Islamic Republic sees implementation of CAATSA as Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the (international 7-nation) nuclear deal, and as we have said before, if the US imposes new sanctions upon us, it should relocate its regional bases in our neighborhood to 2,000km away, that is, as far as the range of Iranian missiles.”

Ja’fari issued a tough warning to the quixotic Trump, saying, “If reports prove to be true that the stupid US administration intends to designate the IRGC as a terrorist organization, then the IRGC will also designate the US army as a terrorist group and target it like it targets Daesh all over the world, especially in the region.”

Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani in his cabinet meeting on Wednesday described the 2015 nuclear deal as “a litmus test” for the world community, saying any party that walks away from the multilateral accord would be damaging its own reputation.

According to Press TV, he said the signatories that choose to honor their sides of the bargain are in fact protecting their own international reputation, adding that “if any side fails to stand committed to the deal, it would be tarnishing its own reputation.”

Rouhani also noted that the number of countries and regimes that support Washington’s hostile stance on the nuclear deal could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

On the contrary, he said, “Today, the world backs the path that the Islamic Republic of Iran has chosen and there is no one, even among the US’s allies in Europe, who supports destroying the agreement.”

Referring to Trump’s comments of not being bound by the commitments undertaken by the Barak Obama Administration, the Iranian president said, “It is really a shame for a government whose argument is that it opposes any work by the former legitimate government.”

He emphasized, “The JCPOA is a major test for world governments and that remaining committed to it constitutes a basis for confidence-building around the globe.”

He added: “If the ill-wishing side, our rival and enemy, leaves an agreement, this is not a defeat for us, but rather a defeat for the opposite side.”


Oct 11, 2017 14:41 UTC