IRGC commander rules out war between Iran, US

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Article Summary
The commander of the Revolutionary Guards said a war between Tehran and the United States was impossible, citing US fear of the consequences.

Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), called war between Iran and the United States an impossibility. Speaking at the “World Without Terror” conference Oct. 31 in Tehran, Jafari said, “There is no doubt that a military confrontation between Iran and the United States is impossible, because they are extremely afraid of the consequences of this war. They are certain they will be defeated if a war begins.” With tensions between Washington and Tehran heightened, reports have been circulating about the possibility of war being triggered. 

Jafari said, “These days, the US is planning to start imposing the sanctions called CAATSA [Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act] under the pretext of Iran’s missile capability. While the IRGC and [Iran’s] missile capability are [just a] pretext, Iran’s economic capacity is the [real] target.”

On the possibility that the United States might try to kill the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Jafari asked, “What was the benefit of the JCPOA for us?” He noted, “The Iranian nation has repeatedly experienced Americans' not honoring their commitments.”

The IRGC commander further said, “The people of Iran know the United States well, and if they relatively trusted [it] during the last four years, [that] was for the sake of the JCPOA. [Now] Iranians have lost their trust in the US for not honoring [its commitments] and [for] deception.”

Alluding to the potential counterproductive ramifications of US actions, Jafari said, “The United States should know that if the economic pressure and sanctions [against Tehran] increase, the Iranian nation’s will to increase its defense and missile capability will grow, and the range and accuracy of the missiles will surge.”

Jafari further said, “The Iranian people will respond to the plots of large and small powers on the ground and that [response] will be surprising [for them]. Iran is ready for big endeavors.”

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, responded Oct. 30 to reports that US President Donald Trump had requested a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in September in New York. “The one who aims to overthrow us is not worthy of holding a negotiation with,” Bagheri said. “The Americans' way is to use all possible methods, and [currently the] military [option] … is at the bottom of their list, and enforcing economic sanctions is at the top of their new threats.”

Of the JCPOA, he said, “The decision of the Islamic Republic is to accept restrictions on its nuclear program in order to [see] sanctions removed, but if these sanctions return under other excuses, the decision of the state will be that staying in the JCPOA will have no meaning [for us].”

Bagheri also said, “The JCPOA is not a sacred goal or [a sacred] verse of [Quran] that we must be committed to under any circumstances. The JCPOA is a two-way promise and agreement that our dear ones in the diplomatic apparatus sought to reach with the P5+1 for months, and this was also reflected in Security Council Resolution 2231 and was approved by the United Nations.”

He emphasized, “One part of the JCPOA was for the Islamic Republic to accept nuclear limitations, and the other part is the removal of the sanctions, but if the sanctions return, we will definitely withdraw from the JCPOA.”

Found in: sanctions, us-iranian relations, mohammad bagheri, mohammad ali jafari, jcpoa, donald trump, irgc

Al-Monitor Staff

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