An Iranian parliamentarian says the US seeks to compensate for its defeats and frustration in the region by imposing sanctions on Iran.
The United States has put on its agenda extensive sanctions against Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in line with Washington’s bans on the Islamic Republic of Iran. To that end, the US House of Representatives and Senate have, once again, passed a sanctions act aimed at countering “Iran’s destabilizing moves.”
The legislation passed in late July, 2017 imposes sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. Now the development begs the question of whether the US can be trusted as a friendly country and a partner.
To review what objectives Washington pursues by imposing sanctions and what counter-measures Tehran has put on its agenda, the Basirat news website has interviewed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, an Iranian MP and a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission. The full text of the interview follows.
What objectives Washington follows by passing the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, which envisages restrictions on Iran’s missile activities and the isolation of the IRGC in the region?
The victory of the  Islamic Revolution of Iran has jeopardized the United States’ colonial interests in southwest Asia. So, the US government has always pursued Iran’s political isolation and Iranophobia as two of its major schemes in a bid to regain its foothold in the region by undermining Iran’s sources of power. Missile activities and the IRGC constitute sources of Iran’s power. By passing the sanctions, the US has not only violated the Iran nuclear deal, but seeks to undercut the sources of Iran’s power.
The Iran nuclear deal (also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA for short) is an international agreement between Iran and six world powers. It is not simply a bilateral agreement between Tehran and Washington. Among all signatories to the JCPOA, only one (the US) is not living up to its obligations under the deal. Iran had expected Washington to breach its promises and not to abide by an international agreement. Iran has reached agreement with six countries and has made good on its commitments under the deal. However, since the second day of the implementation of the JCPOA (January 17, 2016), the US imposed sanctions on 11 Iranian natural and legal persons. The move shows Washington wouldn’t like the JCPOA to be implemented and the Iranian nation to benefit from the deal. Ever since, the US has, for 16 times, adopted measures and passed legislation in contravention of the JCPOA, which we presented to the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission in a documented report. The last instance of these violations was legislation passed by the Senate a couple of days ago, blocking the sales of commercial aircraft to Iran. This comes as it is clearly stipulated in the JCPOA that Iran is entitled to purchase passenger planes. So, US statesmen do not want the JCPOA to be implemented. They are seeking pretexts and breaching their commitments.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the only authority to verify that Iran has delivered on its commitments under the JCPOA, and the agency has so far reiterated in is official statements eight times that Tehran has remained committed to the JCPOA and has fulfilled all its obligations. The IAEA chief has also, time and again, reaffirmed Iran’s compliance with the deal in his speeches. However, the US seeks to create the impression that the agency regards Iran as a violator of the agreement. So, the US ambassador to the UN travelled to the IAEA headquarters and met [IAEA] chief Yukiya Amano in order to persuade him to introduce Iran as a violator of the agreement in the agency’s statements and in his own remarks. The call for inspecting Iran’s military sites and missile activities was in line with the same objective. Washington also resorts to different pretexts in order to neutralize benefits of the JCPOA. Sometimes they say the JCPOA needs addenda, and sometimes say the agreement should include missile activities as well. Sometimes they say the JCPOA needs to be revised. None of these scenarios is acceptable to Iran. We have signed an agreement and act accordingly.
If the new sanctions act is implemented, what will Iran’s reaction be?
The Supreme National Security Council and the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission have held several meetings in this regard and reviewed different scenarios. Precisely scheduled operational plans have been envisaged for each of these scenarios, and Iran is definitely prepared to take the necessary action based on the circumstances. The actions taken by the US run counter to international norms. But we should know that sanctions have never been able to impede Iran’s development and progress. Many economic and military experts happen to believe that if Iran’s economic or technological progress is studied, we will see that the peaks of the country’s progress coincided with the time when Iran was under sanctions. It means whenever the sanctions were intensified, Iran’s scientific, economic and military development gained momentum. So, sanctions will definitely not be able to hinder the progress and development of such a nation.
Despite the fact that the IRGC has adopted effective measures in countering Takfiri terrorist groups in the region, why is it that the US calls the IRGC a terrorist entity?
By pressuring the IRGC and calling it a terrorist entity, the US seeks to make up for the frustration and defeats it has suffered in the region. Today, Zionists and Saudis are furious at the situation in the region. They had made a 10-to-15-year investment. They gave financial and military support to a terrorist group called ISIS and trained its members. They spent a lot to help ISIS counter Iran. From the outset, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region aimed to target Iran. This is the reality. Now, the evil triangle comprising the US, Zionism and Saudi Arabia has reached a stalemate, and its plots have been foiled. It is natural that they have got angry. The Americans have bitten the dust in Syria and Iraq. They themselves know that they will soon drown in the quagmire of Bahrain and Yemen. In order to compensate for this frustration and defeat, they are trying to portray the IRGC as a terrorist group. They have also put pressure on the IRGC’s Quds Force in order to soothe their pains a little bit and make up for their defeats in the region.