“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction”. Here’s the latest (with roots from 2001)…
If domestic “mass murder” and “Rocket Man” are not enough, President Trump just ratcheted down the pressure on Iran.
President Trump is moving forward with a strategy to decertify the Iranian Nuclear Deal:
Today, I announced our strategy to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions and to ensure that they never acquire a nuclear weapon. pic.twitter.com/N4ISdjuEdC
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2017
It did not take long for world leaders to respond, including Germany, the UK, France and Russia:
We, the Leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom take note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and are concerned by the possible implications.
We stand committed to the JCPoA and its full implementation by all sides. Preserving the JCPoA is in our shared national security interest. The nuclear deal was the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is not diverted for military purposes. The JCPoA was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2231. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPoA through its long-term verification and monitoring programme. Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement.
At the same time as we work to preserve the JCPoA, we share concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and regional activities that also affect our European security interests. We stand ready to take further appropriate measures to address these issues in close cooperation with the US and all relevant partners. We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop de-stabilising actions and work towards negotiated solutions.
Russia expressed similar sentiment, with Sergey Lavrov quoted by RIA as saying that all sides should stick to the deal and saying that the main task now is preventing the nuclear deal from collapsing.
Ironically, it was up to none other than Iran itself to remind Trump that the “deal” is not unilateral:
- ROUHANI: TRUMP DOESN’T KNOW NUCLEAR DEAL ISN’T UNILATERAL
- ROUHANI TO TRUMP: ONE COUNTRY CAN’T DICTATE TERMS OF IRAN DEAL
There was one nation that was delighted by today’s events however: the true sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and around the globe, and certainly on September 11: Saudi Arabia. The Saudis welcomed the new US policy towards Iran and said lifting sanctions had allowed Iran to develop its ballistic missile program and step up its support for militant groups, state news agency SPA reported on Friday. The kingdom said Iran took advantage of additional financial revenues to support for the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah and the Houthi group in Yemen.
See the official strategy, the executive order from 2001, and the Treasury Department sanctions, and the Iranian response in their entirety below.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was at the ready as the Treasury Department has designated the IRGC in response to President Bush’s original executive order #13224.
Here is the text of the executive order:
President Bush signed Executive Order 13224 on September 23, 2001. Executive Order 13224 gives the U.S. Government a powerful tool to impede terrorist funding and is part of our national commitment to lead the international effort to bring a halt to the evil of terrorist activity. President Bush issued Executive Order 13224 pursuant to the authorities of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, as amended (22 U.S.C. 287c)(UNPA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code. In issuing Executive Order 13224, President Bush declared a national emergency to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States posed by grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the terrorist attacks in New York and Pennsylvania, and on the Pentagon committed on September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on U.S. nationals or the United States.
In general terms, the Order provides a means by which to disrupt the financial support network for terrorists and terrorist organizations by authorizing the U.S. government to designate and block the assets of foreign individuals and entities that commit, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. In addition, because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundations of foreign terrorists, the Order authorizes the U.S. government to block the assets of individuals and entities that provide support, services, or assistance to, or otherwise associate with, terrorists and terrorist organizations designated under the Order, as well as their subsidiaries, front organizations, agents, and associates.
Designation Criteria In addition to the 29 individuals and entities designated by the President and listed in the Annex to the Executive Order, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, the Order provides authority for the designation (and blocking of assets) of additional individuals or entities (defined to mean partnerships, associations, corporations, or other organizations, groups, or subgroups):
- The Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, may designate foreign individuals or entities that he determines have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the U.S.;
- The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may designate individuals or entities that are determined:
- To be owned or controlled by, or act for or on behalf of an individual or entity listed in the Annex to the Order or by or for persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this Order;
- To assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, acts of terrorism or individuals or entities designated in or under the Order; or
- To be otherwise associated with certain individuals or entities designated in or under the Order.
For the purpose of the Order, “terrorism” is defined to be an activity that (1) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (2) appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.
Designation Process The Executive Order authorizes both the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, or the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, to designate individuals and entities pursuant to the specified criteria described above.
Once the Secretary of State or the Secretary of the Treasury designates an individual or entity, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury takes appropriate action to block the assets of the individual or entity in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including notification of the blocking order to U.S. financial institutions, directing them to block the assets of the designated individual or entity. Notice of the designation is also published in the Federal Register. OFAC also adds the individual or entity to its list of Specially Designated Nationals, by identifying such individuals or entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs), and posts a notice of this addition on the OFAC website. Designations remain in effect until the designation is revoked or the Executive Order lapses or is terminated in accordance with U.S. law.
Effects of Designation
- With limited exceptions set forth in the Order, or as authorized by OFAC, all property and interests in property of designated individuals or entities that are in the United States or that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked.
- With limited exceptions set forth in the Order, or as authorized by OFAC, any transaction or dealing by U.S. persons or within the United States in property or interests in property blocked pursuant to the Order is prohibited, including but not limited to the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of individuals or entities designated under the Order.
- Any transaction by any U.S. person or within the United States that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions in the Order is prohibited. Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions is also prohibited.
- Civil and criminal penalties may be assessed for violations.
- Deters donations or contributions to designated individuals or entities.
- Heightens public awareness and knowledge of individuals or entities linked to terrorism.
- Alerts other governments to U.S. concerns about individuals or entities aiding terrorism, and promotes due diligence by such governments and private sector entities operating within their territories to avoid associations with terrorists.
- Disrupts terrorist networks, thereby cutting off access to financial and other resources from sympathizers.
- Encourages designated entities to get out of the terrorism business.
Current List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under E.O. 13224
For a current list, updated regularly, of terrorists and groups identified under E.O. 13224, see the U.S. Department of the Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)»
Executive Order 13224 By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 5 of the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, as amended (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in view of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1214 of December 8, 1998, UNSCR 1267 of October 15, 1999, UNSCR 1333 of December 19, 2000, and the multilateral sanctions contained therein, and UNSCR 1363 of July 30, 2001, establishing a mechanism to monitor the implementation of UNSCR 1333,
I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that grave acts of terrorism and threats of terrorism committed by foreign terrorists, including the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon committed on September 11, 2001, acts recognized and condemned in UNSCR 1368 of September 12, 2001, and UNSCR 1269 of October 19, 1999, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on United States nationals or the United States constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and in furtherance of my proclamation of September 14, 2001, Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks, hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I also find that because of the pervasiveness and expansiveness of the financial foundation of foreign terrorists, financial sanctions may be appropriate for those foreign persons that support or otherwise associate with these foreign terrorists. I also find that a need exists for further consultation and cooperation with, and sharing of information by, United States and foreign financial institutions as an additional tool to enable the United States to combat the financing of terrorism.
I hereby order:
Section 1. Except to the extent required by section 203(b) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)), or provided in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons that are in the United States or that hereafter come within the United States, or that hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons are blocked:
(a) foreign persons listed in the Annex to this order;
(b) foreign persons determined by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States;
(c) persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, to be owned or controlled by, or to act for or on behalf of those persons listed in the Annex to this order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this order;
(d) except as provided in section 5 of this order and after such consultation, if any, with foreign authorities as the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General, deems appropriate in the exercise of his discretion, persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General;
(i) to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, such acts of terrorism or those persons listed in the Annex to this order or determined to be subject to this order; or
(ii) to be otherwise associated with those persons listed in the Annex to this order or those persons determined to be subject to subsection 1(b), 1(c), or 1(d)(i) of this order.
Sec. 2. Except to the extent required by section 203(b) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)), or provided in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date:
(a) any transaction or dealing by United States persons or within the United States in property or interests in property blocked pursuant to this order is prohibited, including but not limited to the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of those persons listed in the Annex to this order or determined to be subject to this order;
(b) any transaction by any United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited; and
(c) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:
(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;
(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, corporation, or other organization, group, or subgroup;
(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States; and
(d) the term “terrorism” means an activity that —
(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and
(ii) appears to be intended —
(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(C) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.
Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by United States persons to persons determined to be subject to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and would endanger Armed Forces of the United States that are in a situation where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order. Furthermore, I hereby determine that the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (title IX, Public Law 106-387) shall not affect the imposition or the continuation of the imposition of any unilateral agricultural sanction or unilateral medical sanction on any person determined to be subject to this order because imminent involvement of the Armed Forces of the United States in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.
Sec. 5. With respect to those persons designated pursuant to subsection 1(d) of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in the exercise of his discretion and in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may take such other actions than the complete blocking of property or interests in property as the President is authorized to take under IEEPA and UNPA if the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, deems such other actions to be consistent with the national interests of the United States, considering such factors as he deems appropriate.
Sec. 6. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and other appropriate agencies shall make all relevant efforts to cooperate and coordinate with other countries, including through technical assistance, as well as bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements, to achieve the objectives of this order, including the prevention and suppression of acts of terrorism, the denial of financing and financial services to terrorists and terrorist organizations, and the sharing of intelligence about funding activities in support of terrorism.
Sec. 7. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and UNPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 8. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.
Sec. 9. Nothing contained in this order is intended to create, nor does it create, any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its agencies, officers, employees or any other person.
Sec. 10. For those persons listed in the Annex to this order or determined to be subject to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to this order.
Sec. 11. (a) This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on September 24, 2001.
(b) This order shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 23, 2001.
Al Qaida/Islamic Army
Abu Sayyaf Group
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI)
Islamic Army of Aden
Usama bin Laden|
Muhammad Atif (aka, Subhi Abu Sitta, Abu Hafs Al Masri)
Shaykh Sai’id (aka, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad)
Abu Hafs the Mauritanian (aka, Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, Khalid Al-Shanqiti)
Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi
Abu Zubaydah (aka, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, Tariq)
Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (aka, Abu Abdallah)
Thirwat Salah Shihata
Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad (aka, Fathi, Amr al-Fatih)
Muhammad Salah (aka, Nasr Fahmi Nasr Hasanayn)
Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al Kifah
Wafa Humanitarian Organization
Al Rashid Trust
Mamoun Darkazanli Import-Export Company
New US Treasury sanctions:
“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction.” – President Donald J. Trump
President Donald J. Trump, in consultation with his national security team, has approved a new strategy for Iran. It is the culmination of nine months of deliberation with Congress and our allies on how to best protect American security.
Core Elements of the President’s New Iran Strategy
• The United States’ new Iran strategy focuses on neutralizing the Government of Iran’s destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.
• We will revitalize our traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region.
• We will work to deny the Iranian regime – and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.
• We will counter threats to the United States and our allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.
• We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.
• Most importantly, we will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.
The Nature of the Iranian Regime under Supreme Leader Khamenei
• For 28 years, Ali Khamenei has been Iran’s Supreme Leader. Before that, he held the office of President for 8 years. In that time, he has shaped the Iranian regime in his image.
• Khamenei and the IRGC have pursued a steady policy of spreading a revolutionary ideology aimed at undermining the international system and many states by force and subversion. His main enemy and rallying point has been and continues to be the United States of America, which he calls the Great Satan.
• Under Khamenei, Iran exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad. Within Iran, under Khamenei’s rule the Iranian government has oppressed its people, abusing their rights, restricting their access to the internet and the outside world, rigging elections, shooting student protesters in the street, and imprisoning political reformers like Mir Hussein Musavi and Mehdi Karroubi.
The Threats from the Iranian Regime
• The reckless behavior of the Iranian regime, and the IRGC in particular, poses one of the most dangerous threats to the interests of the United States and to regional stability.
• The Iranian regime has taken advantage of regional conflicts and instability to aggressively expand its regional influence and threaten its neighbors with little domestic or international cost for its actions.
• This occurred most recently following the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the vacuum created by the Obama administration’s ill-considered withdrawal from the region.
• The full range of the Iranian regime’s malign activities extends well beyond the nuclear threat it poses, including:
o Ballistic missile development and proliferation;
o Material and financial support for terrorism and extremism;
o Support for the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people;
o Unrelenting hostility to Israel;
o Consistently threatening freedom of navigation, especially in the strategically vital Persian Gulf;
o Cyber-attacks against the United States, Israel, and America’s other allies and partners in the Middle East;
o Grievous human rights abuses; and
o Arbitrary detention of foreigners, including United States citizens, on specious charges and without due process.
The Need for a Comprehensive Strategy
• The previous Administration’s myopic focus on Iran’s nuclear program to the exclusion of the regime’s many other malign activities allowed Iran’s influence in the region to reach a high-water mark.
• Over the last decade and a half, United States policy has also consistently prioritized the immediate threat of Sunni extremist organizations over the longer-term threat of Iranian-backed militancy.
• In doing so, the United States has neglected Iran’s steady expansion of proxy forces and terrorist networks aimed at keeping its neighbors weak and unstable in hopes of dominating the greater Middle East. Recently, the Iranian regime has accelerated the seeding of these networks with increasingly destructive weapons as they try to establish a bridge from Iran to Lebanon and Syria.
• The Trump Administration will not repeat these mistakes.
• The Trump Administration’s Iran policy will address the totality of these threats from and malign activities by the Government of Iran and will seek to bring about a change in the Iranian’s regime’s behavior.
• The Trump Administration will accomplish these objectives through a strategy that neutralizes and counters Iranian threats, particularly those posed by the IRGC.
Countering the IRGC
• Supreme Leader Khamenei’s primary tool and weapon in remaking Iran into a rogue state has been the hardline elements of the IRGC.
• The IRGC’s stated purpose is to subvert the international order. The IRGC’s power and influence have grown over time, even as it has remained unaccountable to the Iranian people, answering only to Khamenei. It is hard to find a conflict or a suffering people in the Middle East that the IRGC’s tentacles do not touch.
• Unaccountable to Iran’s elected leaders or its people, the IRGC has tried to gain control over large portions of Iran’s economy and choke off competition, all the while working to weaken and undermine Iran’s neighbors and perpetuate the chaos and instability in which it thrives.
• The IRGC has armed Bashar al Assad and guided his butchering of his own people in Syria and has cynically condoned his use of chemical weapons.
• The IRGC has sought to undermine the fight against ISIS with the influence of militant groups in Iraq under the IRGC’s control.
In Yemen, the IRGC has attempted to use the Houthis as puppets to hide Iran’s role in using sophisticated missiles and explosive boats to attack innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to restrict freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.
• The IRGC has even threatened terrorist attacks right here at home. Senior IRGC commanders plotted the murder of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Adel Jubeir, on American soil in 2011. But for exceptional work by our law enforcement and intelligence officers to detect and disrupt this egregious act, the IRGC would have conducted this terrorist attack and assassination in our own capital and would have killed not only a Saudi Arabian diplomat, but a host of other innocent bystanders at a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C.
• The IRGC, which repeatedly displays reckless hostility and disregard for the laws and norms that underpin the international order, threatens all nations and the global economy.
• Our partners in the international community agree with us that the IRGC’s reckless behavior threatens international peace and security. They agree that the IRGC is fanning sectarianism and perpetuating regional conflict. They agree that the IRGC is engaged in corrupt economic practices that exploit the Iranian people and suppress internal dissent, human rights, and Iran’s economic prosperity.
• For all these reasons, we want to work with our partners to constrain this dangerous organization, for the benefit of international peace and security, regional stability, and the Iranian people.
The Iranian Nuclear Program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
• The Iranian regime’s activities severely undercut whatever positive contributions to “regional and international peace and security” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to achieve.
• Even with regard to JCPOA itself, the Iranian regime has displayed a disturbing pattern of behavior, seeking to exploit loopholes and test the international community’s resolve.
• Iranian military leaders have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of their military sites. These statements fly in the face of Iran’s commitments under JCPOA and the Additional Protocol. Not long ago these same organizations hid nuclear facilities on military sites.
• This behavior cannot be tolerated; the deal must be strictly enforced, and the IAEA must fully utilize its inspection authorities.
And the Iranian response:
TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (MNA) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has released a statement in response to Trump’s Iran Strategy, voicing regret that “instead of discarding terrorism as a tool and joining Iran’s genuine counter-terrorism efforts, the United States continues to misportray these constructive efforts as destabilizing.”
The full statement released by Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday is as follows:
Since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian foreign policy has been developed and implemented based on principles of international law and international rules and conventions; respect for sovereign equality of all states and non-interference in internal affairs of others have formed the cornerstone of relations with other countries. After decades of dictatorship, dependence on foreign powers – especially the United States – and constant interference of those powers in Iran’s internal affairs, the Iranian people, with their newly-established democratic government, had hoped to be able to finally build ties with neighbors based on equality and fraternity, free from political, economic and military rivalries; to form a peace-seeking nation that sought to replace enmity and bloodshed with friendship and cooperation. By contrast, the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf region have persistently refused to accept realities of Iran and the region, and have vainly attempted to thwart the Iranian peoples’ quest for democracy and self-determination.
From the very first days of the Islamic Revolution, the United States adopted a hostile, interventionist and destabilizing approach towards Iran’s newly-established government with the aim of overthrowing it. The United States’ bleak record staging several coup attempts, harboring terrorists, openly supporting Saddam Hussein during the imposed war against Iran even his use of chemical weapons against Iranians, aiding secessionist plots, downing an Iranian civil airliner, and hundreds of other conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its people — is undeniable. Even before the Islamic Revolution, the United States sponsored a coup against the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953, thereby showing its constant historic enmity with democracy and its support for dictators.
Terrorist groups that have found safe haven in and plotted against the Iranian people from the United States over the past 38 years murdered 17,000 Iranians in the first few years following the Islamic Revolution. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while successfully establishing the highest standards of stability and security at home, has provided its advisory services to the people and security forces of Iraq and Syria, playing an indispensable role in combating terrorism, thwarting the Takfiri campaign to take over Damascus, Baghdad and Erbil, and helping uproot these groups from Iraq and Syria. The constructive role of our armed forces in combating terrorist groups — which the current US president himself cited during his campaign as having been created by the US— has been instrumental in eradicating this scourge. It is unfortunate that, instead of discarding terrorism as a tool and joining Iran’s genuine counter-terrorism efforts, the United States continues to misportray these constructive efforts as destabilizing.
The role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the frontlines of combating terrorism in the region is irrefutable. The Corps, a branch of Iran’s armed forces, has an impeccable track record of containing Takfiri terrorism, restoring gradual tranquility for the people of the region as well as safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria. The Revolutionary Guards are regarded as national heroes for their role in the defense of Iranian territory against Saddam Hussein’ army. Any action by the US administration or Congress against the IRGC will constitute a strategic mistake and will draw the indignation of the Iranian people and a strong and unified reciprocal reaction. The US President will have to bear full responsibility for all consequences of his rogue behavior.
The United States has defined its interest in generating and aggravating regional disputes, and exacerbating conflict and insecurity to fuel an arms race and create bigger markets for its weapons. On the other hand, Iran has identified its regional interests with good-neighborliness, and peace and stability in the highly sensitive Persian Gulf region. This is in clear contrast with the publicly stated position of the current president of the United States, who in his campaign, publicly considered the war between Iran and Iraq as serving US interests, and more recently openly made his visit to the region contingent upon the sale of hundreds of billions of “beautiful weapons”—tools of destruction that are currently being used against defenseless children and the elderly in Yemen.
The crises in our region, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, are rooted in occupation, illegal military interventions, and hegemonic designs of the United States in the region. In contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that its national security interests can only be secured through dialogue, confidence building and multilateral cooperation within the region, and we are determined to actively contribute to the promotion of effective regional cooperation for peace and security. Iranian proposals for political settlements to end the horrifying wars in Yemen and Syria have been welcomed by the international community, and Iran has played a constructive role in every international initiative aimed at ending regional conflicts. Iran has also cooperated with Russia and Turkey effectively to de-escalate the violence in Syria, and stands ready to contribute actively to joint efforts with the United Nations Secretary General and other responsible countries – including other permanent members of the Security Council – and the European Union, to put an end to conflicts and violence.
The hostile policies of the United States and its regional allies, especially the Zionist regime, as well as the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of arms into the region that have turned the region into a tinderbox require the Islamic Republic of Iran not to be complacent about the country’s defense needs. During the war imposed on us by Saddam Husseins regime, not only did the United States and its regional allies provide military, intelligence, logistical, economic and political assistance to Saddam, and offer their support and maintained their silence during his chemical weapons attacks campaign, they also did everything in their power to interdict the acquisition of even the most basic defensive capabilities by Iran. Through that experience we learned that in order to protect our people, safeguard our independence and security and defend our national honor, we must rely on indigenous capacities and not hesitate in developing the capability to meet the countrys legitimate defense needs. It is in this framework that Irans missile program has a purely defensive and deterrent character. Our missiles are strictly designed to carry conventional warheads and their range and precision are proportionate to our security environment and threat perception. It will continue with full force in accordance with our national defense program and is not, nor will it ever be, negotiable. When US allies in the region, whose combined population is far less than Iran, each spend exponentially higher sums on their military than Iran, why shouldn’t Iran that has attacked no one in almost 300 years but has been the victim of aggression supported by the US and its regional partners acquire necessary tools of deterrence in the face the constant threats by aggressors?
The antagonistic policies of the United States against Iran have also extended to the realm of advanced science and technology in past few decades. The United States has imposed restrictions that bar scientific and technological exchanges while also imposing sanctions in these fields. These actions serve no purpose but trying to hold back our technological development and prolong dependence on advanced powers. The efforts of our young scientists to acquire the knowledge for the development of a peaceful nuclear program has from its outset been met with propaganda, sanctions, cyber attacks and even the assassination of our scientists. Iran has repeatedly stated that it wishes to utilize nuclear energy peacefully, and that we view weapons of mass destruction— including nuclear weapons— as disruptive to peace and security, and as such they will never have a place in our military doctrine. The International Atomic Energy Agencys report and conclusion in 2015, rejecting accusations of Possible Military Dimensions (PMD), acknowledged the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.
Iran has demonstrated its good will by entering into and its conclusion of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1 to resolve a fabricated crisis, and we have proven our fulfilment of our undertakings by the good-faith implementation of our commitments in accordance with the JCPOA. In contrast, the United States fulfilment of its commitments has been lackluster and deficient from the very beginning, and in several cases—especially during the current administration—it has violated both the spirit and the letter of the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran has officially registered with the Joint Commission those violations, including failures in lifting of sanctions and policies preventing the establishment of an atmosphere necessary for normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran. The claim by the president of United States regarding Iran’s non-compliance has no international relevance or credibility, since the IAEA, as the sole authority to conduct such monitoring and verification, has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA. This proves once again that the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner.
The JCPOA is a valid international instrument and an outstanding achievement in contemporary diplomacy. It cannot be renegotiated or altered. The nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement that can be annulled by unilateral action, but a deal endorsed by the international community and incorporated as a part of Security Council Resolution 2231. Other JCPOA participants, as well as the rest of the international community, should not allow the president of the United States to continue to mock and undermine the deal. The Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first to withdraw from the deal, but if its rights and interests in the deal are not respected, it will stop implementing all its commitments and will resume its peaceful nuclear program without any restrictions.
Today, the United States is more isolated globally than ever before and the veracity of Iran’s policies and positions have become evident to the international community. The world has witnessed that over the past several weeks, most countries have been unified in supporting the JCPOA and the Islamic republic and rejecting US policies. The international community views Iran as a responsible actor endeavoring to promote peace and will not give any credence to rogue actors further isolating themselves every day by withdrawing from one or another international agreement and organization.
The difference between Iranian and US policies on many international and regional issues are clear and undeniable. Because of their miscalculations, various US administrations have aggravated these differences into open hostility against the people of Iran. In spite of all these animosities, embodied mostly in illegal threats and sanctions, the people of Iran have resiliently persisted in their quest for justice and independence. Iran has reached the pinnacles of influence and strength through relying on its own people and its indigenous capabilities, benefitting from the prudent and wise guidance of Ayatollah Khamenei, who has personified the dignity and integrity of the Iranian people, following the footsteps of the late Imam Khomeini. The new US rulers must not forget the hard lessons of the past four decades; they should not forget that previous administrations who by uttering similar fallacies put themselves in open rivalry with the Iranian people – were forced to retreat from such imprudent utterances.