TEHRAN – Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps warned the United States on Sunday that the latter’s bases and troops deployed in the Middle East would be in danger if Washington were to impose sanctions against Tehran.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the IRGC’s commander, explained that Tehran would take advantage of the current US administration’s approach to the nuclear deal to leapfrog Iran’s defensive, missile, and regional goals.
“As mentioned in the past, in case of implementing the new sanctions law, the US will have to find a new place for its military bases, 2,000 km further away, so as not to fall within the range of Iranian missiles,” Jafari said, according to the official news agency IRNA.
He stressed that if Washington finally includes the IRGC on its list of terror groups, the body will treat the US military around the world, especially in the Middle East, “in the same way” it deals with the militants of the Islamic State terror organization.
In August, US President Donald Trump enacted a law providing for sanctions against Iran’s weapons program, mainly involving ballistic missiles, as well as against Russia and North Korea.
Trump has to decide before Oct. 15 whether he certifies that Iran is currently complying with the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and six major powers, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Trump’s decision does not mean the US’ withdrawal from the agreement, but it does launch a process that could lead to the resumption of sanctions on Tehran for its nuclear program, a step that could mean the end of the pact.
Jafari said the US would choose a wrong path if it decided to increase its pressure on Iran to return to the negotiation table.
He added that the new US sanctions will forever eliminate the possibility of any kind of interaction with Iran.
Trump’s government is the only one that has expressed opposition to the nuclear agreement, which is backed by both the European Union and the other signatories of the pact, known as the P5+1: Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom, plus Germany.
In that regard, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said that the agreement was a “moral victory” for Iran.
“We proved to the world that we were honest and the ill-wishers were liars. This is irreversible and it will go down in history,” Rouhani added.