(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)
The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard welcomed US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, saying it was clear from the beginning that the Americans were “not trustworthy” and that the move would have no impact.
The semi-official Fars news agency on Wednesday quoted General Mohammad Ali Jafari as predicting that the European Union, which opposed the pullout, would eventually join the US, meaning the “the fate of the deal is clear.”
He was quoted as saying: “We welcome Trump’s decision on pulling out of the deal. This is not a new event and has no effective role in any field.” He added that “it was clear that the Americans are not trustworthy.”
The Revolutionary Guard is a paramilitary force dominated by hardliners, which answers directly to Iran’s supreme leader.
The country’s hardliners and conservatives have long opposed the nuclear pact, and on Wednesday called again to scrap it.
“Trump has torn up the nuclear deal, it is time for us to burn it,” said the hard-line Kayhan newspaper, echoing a recent threat by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Kayhan has been one of the fiercest critics of the agreement, under which Iran vowed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
But the country’s reformists are in favor of preserving the deal.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday slammed Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal as an act of “psychological warfare,” warning that his country could start enriching uranium more than ever in the coming weeks.
Rouhani has stated in recent days that he hopes to salvage the deal as much as possible with the help of the other parties — Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the European Union — who have strongly opposed Washington’s decision to pull out.
State television said the decision was “illegal, illegitimate, and undermines international agreements,” Reuters reported.
Speaking live on state television, Rouhani said he wished to discuss Trump’s decision with the European, Russian, and Chinese parties to the 2015 deal. There’s a “short time” to negotiate, he said, adding that he will be sending Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to countries remaining in the accord.
“I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before,” he said, adding that Iran would start this “in the next weeks.”
The Iranian president appeared on the state broadcaster just minutes after Trump announced the historic decision to withdraw the United States from the agreement.