01 August 2019 - 15:34
News ID: 446274
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Ex-IRGC Commander:
Former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohsen Rezayee blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his insincere remarks, stressing the need for Washington to remove all sanctions against Iran to give credit to his statements.

RNA - "The deceitfulness with which the Americans came to the scene is fully clear and their sincerity will be displayed when they remove all sanctions, return to the international agreements and sincerely say to the Iranian nation that they have made a mistake," said Rezayee, now the secretary of Iran's Expediency Council.

He noted that the Iranian nation does not believe Pompeo's comments given the contradictions existing in the Americans' words and actions, and said the Iranian nation may accept they are sincere only once they acknowledge mistake and show in practice that they will not make any hostile move against Iran.

His remarks came after Pompeo said Iran had rejected his offer made July 25 to go to Tehran to address the Iranian people.

In a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg Television, Pompeo had said, “I’d like a chance to go [to Tehran], not do propaganda but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran”.

But in a tweet on July 29 the Secretary of State said “I recently offered to travel to Tehran and speak directly to the Iranian people. The regime hasn’t accepted my offer”.

Washington withdrew from the internationally-endorsed 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, reimposed the toughest-ever sanctions against the country and started a plan to zero down Tehran's oil sales.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, Tehran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

Yet, Iran continued compliance with deal, stressing that the remaining signatories to the agreement (specially the Europeans) had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they want Tehran to remain in compliance. The Iranian officials had earlier warned that the European Union’s failure in providing the needed ground for Tehran to enjoy the economic benefits of the nuclear deal would exhaust the country's patience.

Almost a year later, however, the EU failed to provide Tehran with its promised merits. Then, the US state department announced that it had not extended two waivers, one that allowed Iran to store excess heavy water produced in the uranium enrichment process in Oman, and one that allowed Iran to swap enriched uranium for raw yellowcake with Russia.

Until now, Iran was allowed to ship low-enriched uranium produced at Natanz to Russia before it hit the 300-kg limit and the US measure leaves no way for Tehran other than exceeding the ceiling for storing the enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Also, the United States would no longer waive sanctions that allowed Iran to ship heavy water produced at its Arak facility beyond a 300-ton limit set in the 2015 nuclear deal to Oman for storage which again forces Tehran to store it inside country in violation of the nuclear deal.

In return, Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) announced in a statement on May 8 that the country had modified two of its undertakings under the JCPOA in return for the US abrogation of the deal and other signatories’ inability to make up for the losses under the agreement, warning that modifications would continue if the world powers failed to take action in line with their promises.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran declares that at the current stage, it does not anymore see itself committed to respecting the limitations on keeping enriched uranium and heavy water reserves," the statement said.

Then Iran gave Europe 60 days to either normalize economic ties with Iran or accept the modification of Tehran’s obligations under the agreement and implement the Europe's proposed INSTEX to facilitate trade with Iran. 

Iran set up and registered a counterpart to INSTEX called Special Trade and Financing Instrument between Iran and Europe (STFI) to pave the way for bilateral trade. 

Then on June 28, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid announced that INSTEX has become operational.

"INSTEX now operational, first transactions being processed and more EU Members States to join. Good progress on Arak and Fordow projects," Schmid wrote on her twitter account after a meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA ended in Vienna following three and a half hours of talks by the remaining signatories to the deal (the EU3 and Russia and China).

It was the 12th meeting of the Joint Commission on JCPOA in Vienna.

Meantime, seven European countries--Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden--in a joint statement expressed their support for the efforts for implementation of the INSTEX.

Later, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi described the nuclear deal joint commission meeting with the Europeans as "a step forward", but meantime, reminded that it did not meet Iran's expectations.

“It was a step forward, but it is still not enough and not meeting Iran’s expectations,” said Araqchi, who headed the Iranian delegation at the JCPOA joint commission meeting in Vienna.

In addition to their defiance of the JCPOA, the Europeans showed more animosity towards Iran earlier this month and seized an Iranian oil tanker by Britain at the US request.

Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Gibraltar detained the supertanker Grace 1 after a request by the United States to Britain.

According to Fars News Agancy, Borrell was quoted by Reuters as saying that Spain was looking into the seizure of the ship and how it may affect Spanish sovereignty as it appears to have happened in Spanish waters.

Spain does not recognize the waters around Gibraltar as British.

Experts believe that the measure taken by the British government in seizing the Syria-bound Iranian tanker is illegal and can have serious consequences for the government in London.

Earlier this month, Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said the country's uranium enrichment level now stands at 4.5%, but underlined that the degree could increase if required by political rationale.

Kamalvandi had also earlier underlined Iran's capability to return to the conditions before the nuclear deal if the other signatories do not remain committed to their undertakings.

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