Iran's Guards commander says US military presence in Gulf is 'an opportunity'
16 May, 2019, 04:33 | Author: Emmett Rice
The United States has started a psychological war in the region, the commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said in a parliament session on Sunday, according to a parliamentary spokesman qouted in a Reuters report.
Rouhani, who is facing domestic political pressure, has called for the unity among political factions to overcome the effect of sanctions.
On Wednesday, president Hassan Rouhani said Iran would no longer implement parts of the deal and threatened to go further if the remaining members of the pact, including the European Union, failed to deliver sanctions relief to counterbalance Trump's renewed assault on the Iranian economy within 60 days.
On Friday, the Guards' rejected an invitation from Trump in which he urged Iran's leaders to talk with him about giving up their nuclear programme.
The Iran accord, one of the West's biggest foreign policy achievements until U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out in May 2018, lifted punishing United Nations' sanctions on Iran in return for Iranian compliance with the deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on Wednesday that Tehran could resume enrichment at a higher grade if the European powers, China and Russian Federation did not do more to circumvent US sanctions on banking and energy to boost trade.
Salami noted that "the American war against Iran is not possible, because Washington does not have the ability and the courage to wage war against it".
Hardliners have criticized Rouhani after Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Rouhani supported, and re-imposed sanctions previous year.
USA sanctions - particularly those on the energy, shipping and financial sectors - have hit oil exports and caused foreign investment to dry up.
President Rouhani has personally come under pressure from hardliners in Iran after the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal his administration negotiated.
National Security Advisor Advisor John Bolton said that the forces were being dispatched to the Gulf in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings", by Iran. Iran has repeatedly threatened to retaliate to the U.S. measures by blocking the Strait of Hormuz - through which about a fifth of all oil consumed globally pass.
Salami also dismissed USA decisions to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and USS Arlington amphibious transport dock to the Middle East amid the rising tensions. US B-52 bombers have arrived at a base in Qatar.
Washington also approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a U.S. official said on Friday.
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And Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said Monday that the incidents were "alarming and regrettable". Navy's 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast and operates from a base in Fujairah, has repeatedly declined to comment.
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