In the wake of Washington’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani described U.S. President Donald Trump as a “liar,” saying that Washington continues to support terrorism in Iraq and Syria and then Trump calls Iran a “terrorist nation.”
“Unfortunately, Trump is a liar. The U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran, supports the growth of terrorism in Iraq and Syria, and bombards Yemen. When Trump calls Iran a ‘terrorist nation,’ or distorts the 2,500-year history of the ‘Persian Gulf’ by calling it the ‘Arabian Gulf,’ people realize that they are being targeted,” Shamkhani said in an interview for Euronews.
In the interview, Shamkhani also insisted that Iran will not back down on its ballistic missile programme, which he characterized as purely defensive.
He hit out at U.S. sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard at a time when funerals were taking place for its soldiers killed while fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Asked about the role of Europe since the nuclear deal was struck, he added:
“It has always been our plan to develop our ties and relations with Europe within our values and beliefs. However, the truth is that Europe has not done likewise since the nuclear deal was signed. With a few exceptions, it has mainly paid lip service. It is now saying that it is against the elimination of the nuclear deal by the U.S.”
The remarks came just days after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. In a speech on Friday, he threatened to remove the U.S. from the accord if Congress and U.S. allies fail to agree on amending it to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Iranians have been reacting with dismay at Donald Trump’s new stance towards to country. Alireza Rahimi, a member of the Security Council and Foreign Affairs Commission in Iran’s Parliament, was dismissive of Trump’s rhetoric.
“Despite all the alleged threats, Trump’s speech didn’t mention anything specific. Instead, drawing a negative atmosphere towards Iran, diverting the world’s attention from itself concerning accusations related to human rights violations and terrorism backfiring on the U.S.”
Trump may have hoped to garner support from some of the Iranian people, but referring to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf, or calling Iran a terrorist nation didn’t sit well with them. President Hassan Rohani said that deal is non-negotiable, while experts say that Iran’s interests are safeguarded as long as the EU, China and Russia are committed to it.
Iran apparently has no intent to increase tensions and it has frequently stated that it will not be the first country to violate JCPOA; however, the position of Iranian officials in the past few days show that they are not willing to negotiate Iran’s defense potential and it’s missile programme. They have said that they will show serious reactions to any proposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guard by the United States.