The New Bloc against Tehran

Iran

The pace of developments has taken us by surprise. Ever since Washington announced its decision against Iran’s government, Britain and Germany shifted their stance from insisting on remaining loyal to the commitments of the nuclear deal to announcing that they support Trump’s plan to confront Tehran’s regime in the Middle East.

The problem is not related to an agreement over nuclear activity as much as it is about the wars, which Iran is regionally managing. It is unreasonable to let the regime loose in the region and allow it to spread chaos, threaten other regimes and dominate Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. All this would basically be its reward for decreasing uranium enrichment!

Britain and Germany criticized Iranian practices and announced they will join the US in confronting Tehran’s policy. This position foils Iran’s attempts to adopt the entire agreement in one package to impose it on everyone without distinguishing between preventing nuclear activity, which qualifies it for military supremacy, and between the dangerous practices of the regime, which is benefiting from the nuclear deal itself.

We must acknowledge that the White House wittingly managed the battle with its European allies who completely rejected backing down from the agreement and refused to take any action that may lead to tense relations with Tehran.

However, President Trump put two options before them: correct the mistakes related to the agreement or cancel it altogether. He insisted on refusing the previous situation. This stance is in harmony with the Republican Party’s view and his government, of course, supported the decision.

The wheel will begin to turn again to pressure Tehran’s regime, which will be responsible for the next economic and political crisis it will suffer from – that is if it refuses to change its behavior and to suspend its military and militant activities in the region.

The US and governments that support it it do not oppose Iran’s right to establish a civil nuclear program, but Washington expects Tehran rein in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its intelligence apparatuses in the region.

Iran must withdraw the militias, which the IRGC established and trained and which consist of powerless refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other countries. It also developed “Hezbollah’s” roles and turned the party members into mercenaries who launch wars on its behalf in the region.

It is preparing the Houthi Ansar Allah group in Yemen for this same purpose. Iran also used a naval network to smuggle weapons to conflict areas in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon and used ships to smuggle supplies to fund the Yemeni war. It tried to do the same in Syria via the Mediterranean Sea. Iran also has activities in Afghanistan as it has supported the war there ever since the American invasion of the country following the September 11 attacks.

Iran could not have expanded in this manner in the region if those who signed the agreement hadn’t submitted to its conditions and hadn’t lifted sanctions randomly. Tehran could not have expanded in Syria if the former US administration, under Barack Obama, hadn’t been lenient with it out of fear that it may not sign the deal.

The challenge will be in proposing a new project to Tehran. This can include lifting sanctions in exchange of keeping the deal and getting Iran to commit to withdrawing all its foreign militias from conflict zones and pledging to stop supporting local militias allied with it, like the Houthis, the League of Righteous People, “Hezbollah in Iraq” and others.

To pressure Iran, Washington said it will revive its support of the Iranian opposition that is seeking to topple the regime. Obama’s administration had stopped doing that and had suspended supporting academic, political and media activities directed against Tehran in order to please Rouhani’s government.

Now that the political confrontation is back on, Tehran is faced before a new equation: stop wars or be sanctioned again. All this will be accompanied with the formation of a new bloc, whose aims are to pressure Iran and guarantee the implementation of sanctions.

Trump and The Coup Against The Coup

Donald Trump did not shred the “very bad” nuclear deal with Iran. He has strongly shaken it and trembled the image that Iran tried to market at the international level after the signing of the agreement.
 
He raised doubts and asked questions about what his predecessor, Barack Obama, considered the most important achievement of his era.
 
The deal was not the most important part of the president’s speech. It was rather the message that Iran’s problem with the world and the Middle East is about its role outside its borders, long before its nuclear dream; as if he wanted to say that the role is more dangerous than the bomb, and that thinking about the bomb may be aimed at protecting the ability to maintain this role.
 
The American president awakened memories and facts that Obama was keen to forget. He recalled the bloody events in the Iranian-American relations since the victory of the Khomeini revolution. He reminded the Americans of their diplomats being held hostage at their country’s embassy in Tehran as Iranians shouted “Death to America.” He has also mentioned the coffins of American soldiers returning from Beirut because of a bomb carrying the fingerprints of the Iranian intelligence.
 
Trump went beyond the aspect of bilateral relations. He accused Iran of being “the biggest supporter of terrorism in the world”, harboring al-Qaeda officials, and turning a destabilizing approach into a permanent policy. He also pointed to the Revolutionary Guard’s role and weapons in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
 
The US president seemed to be putting together accusations as a prelude to trial, or as someone preparing a complete file to justify the “new strategy” toward Iran.
 
This strategy contains a clear message to the people of the Middle East. He said: “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 … funding for its malign activities.” The Treasury’s sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard were the first fruits of Trump’s words.
 
Many points have to be considered in Trump’s position. He placed Iran back in the center of danger, after Korea occupied this place in the previous weeks. It became clear that Trump considers his first test to be in the Middle East, not along China’s borders.
 
Trump also re-emphasized the danger posed by the Iranian role, which is translated in a large-scale attack on the Middle East region – an area that concerns the world in terms of its wealth, stability and balance of power.
 
The third message is that America, which has signed the nuclear agreement with Iran, is not in a position, especially under the current administration, to consider violations that Iran has made in a number of Arab countries as a de-facto reality that must be recognized.
 
This practically means that Washington does not recognize Tehran’s right to have the last say in Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana’a, and refuses that Qassem Soleimani becomes the chief of generals in the four capitals.
 
What Trump has publicly announced from the White House is what US diplomats say in closed rooms and private meetings. His position is also consistent with the stance of US generals who worked in Iraq and witnessed the size of the coup led by Iran in the region, especially after the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime…A coup that is waged “by militias, rockets and small mobile armies and by destroying the immunity of international borders,” as described by an Arab official.
 
Trump’s speech turning into policies on the ground will certainly reverse the approach Obama has taken in his last years in power. An American diplomat says he has asked Obama more than once to allow some weapons into Syria to restore balance that would force the regime to engage in serious negotiations. He adds that Obama’s consistent position was based on three rejections: No to war against Iran in Syria, no to a position threatening US special forces in Iraq, and no to a stance threatening nuclear negotiations with Iran.
 
The diplomat concludes that Iran was more interested in field expansions than its nuclear program, and thus succeeded in “changing the positions of countries and their political and sectarian balances and altering the environment of historic Arab capitals.”
 
America’s allies and friends had feelings of resentment when Obama insisted on reading the whole region’s file based on his desire to accomplish the Iranian nuclear deal. They considered his position a coup to the pillars of the US traditional policy, which was focused on the security of its allies and its commitment to address any threat to their stability.
 
Trump’s speech turning into a specific policy is aimed at containing the Iranian fiasco in the region. In coordination with Washington’s historic friends, this policy would certainly be the largest response to the great Iranian coup, which is aimed at besieging and destabilizing influential countries in the region and weakening their strategic importance.
 
There is no return to a degree of stability in the region unless the balance of power is adjusted by new regulations that require armies to be stationed within their own countries and that force militias to leave the territory of others.
 
Arab moderates do not see an opportunity of this kind without an American role that will revive the red lines in the face of successive coups and the spread of militias. In this context, it is possible to understand Saudi Arabia’s support for the “firm strategy” announced by Trump, and the phone call made by King Salman bin Abdulaziz with Trump after the latter’s speech.
 
Trump has returned the issue of the Iranian role to the international agenda. This was evident in the conversation between Angela Merkel and Theresa May. While the two officials stressed their adherence to the nuclear agreement with Iran, they underlined the need for the international community to face the Persian State’s destabilizing policies – an issue that will be discussed in the coming days on the European table.
 
It is obvious that Iran is angered with the new attention to its destabilizing role.
 
We must wait and see whether it would respond by its old means and where. It is certain that Trump’s speech turning into a policy represents a major coup against the Iranian coup, which has benefited greatly from the invasion of Iraq, Obama’s withdrawal tendencies, and the emergence of ISIS and its horrific practices.

Blowing up the Nuclear Agreement

It was a matter of time before the clock ticks to reconsider the Iranian nuclear agreement, repeatedly described by US President Donald Trump as “the worst deal ever”. It is the worst. Trump needed 10 months to start an actual confrontation with Iran, while Obama took eight years to throw the safety buoy to Iran.

Iran was delighted by the agreement since it is the greatest winner. Iran was allowed to exceed the limited heavy water quantities, which means that it would move on with its nuclear project. Even more dangerous is its terrorist arm IRGC, described by Trump as “the Iranian Supreme Leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia”.

Trump added that Iran spreads death, destruction, and chaos and doesn’t abide by the agreement spirit, but benefits from lifting the economic sanctions. Reimposing sanctions on Iran and its military militias (IRGC) was Trump’s new strategy to face a nuclear deal that has flaws and which undermined the regions’ states.

Washington didn’t announce withdrawing from the agreement since this scenario is seen by US officials as a knock out that would make European partners slam the US. Washington, however, chose a modest solution by neither withdrawing from the deal nor permitting it to continue with its dangerous impact on the world and region’s security and stability.

Trump decertified that Iran committed to the deal, describing it as an extremist regime. He added that the topic will be referred to the Congress and US allies will be consulted on ways to amend the deal. This step probably aims at dragging Iran to breach the deal or withdraw it, decreasing Washington’s responsibility infront of European allies.

More than two years since signing the deal, Iran has earned a huge amount of money. The White House affirmed earlier that Iran has recovered USD50 billion of its foreign assets then started its attempts to open the nuclear door. It insisted on dealing with the missile file separately from the nuclear one. IRGC conducted several experiments on ballistic missiles, a matter described by Washington as a violation of the agreement.

Iran manipulated the world via the bad nuclear deal, its militias expanded more and it exploited its IRGC in strengthening its militias. If Iran was left to go on with its subversive strategy during the agreement deal without confronting it, then it would have been impossible to halt its terrorism around the world at a point where its militant arms would have expanded and become a reality such as “Hezbollah” in Lebanon.

When enthusiasm was at its peak after announcing the nuclear deal in 2015, Saudi Arabia remained among the few states that sensed danger. It was frank in expressing concerns over Iran not abiding by the deal and warned the Iranians of their intervention policy in the region. The kingdom considered that using the lift of economic sanctions term to cause tension will be faced decisively by the region states.

Back then, it was said that Riyadh is being strict towards the chance to contain Iran and return it to a normal state to the international community. Here is the US proving that Riyadh was right and affirming that it wasn’t a strict stance but a forecast vision to an infidel state that was granted several chances but remained adamant to its project of sabotage.

In her book “Hard Choices”, former United States Secretary of State and one of the main sponsors of this agreement Hillary Clinton said that nothing makes the US trust the Iranians. She added that despite reaching a nuclear agreement, Iran remains a threat to the international community, US, and allies – due to its hostile attitude and support to terrorism.

This reveals that the agreement was a purpose for the Obama administration and not a means to terminate the danger of Iran.

Maybe it is finally time to snatch the winning card from Iran, which it has been exploiting to spread terrorism in the world.

IRGC Warns Washington against Labeling it Terrorist Group

London- Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp Major General Mohammad Ali Jaafari renewed on Sunday his threats against US regional bases if Washington decided to designate the Guards as a terrorist group.

In a statement delivered during a “strategic” IRGC meeting in Tehran on Sunday, Jaafari warned that if the US imposes new sanctions on the Iranian forces, the move would be considered tantamount to US unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and would therefore end any chances of future dialogue with the US.

JCPOA, which is the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the Group 5+1 in 2015, includes an agreement to lift sanctions against Iran in exchange of its agreement to limit its nuclear program to peaceful purposes.

Last August, US President Donald Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to enact new sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.

“As we previously announced, if the US approves the CAATSA law, Washington will then have to relocate its regional bases out of the reach of Iran’s missiles, which have a range of 2,000 kilometers,” Jaafari was quoted by the Sepah news website, a mouthpiece of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, as saying.

The commander added: “If reports on the US decision to enlist Iran’s IRGC as a terrorist group happen to be true, the Iranian force would also treat the US Army everywhere in the world and especially in the Middle East in the same way as ISIS terrorists.”

Earlier, Trump had spoken about Tehran’s breaching of the nuclear deal.

But Jaafari said: “The Americans should know that the Islamic Republic would use the Trump administration’s stupid behavior toward JCPOA to make great strides in advancing its defensive, regional and missile programs.”

He added that Iran intends to solve regional issues at a place other than the negotiating table.

US Sanctions 11 Iranians, 2 Entities for Involvement in Malicious Acts

Washington- The US Department of Treasury has imposed sanctions on 11 Iranians and two entities accused of aiding Iran’s nuclear program or engaging in malicious cyber-activity.

The sanctions freeze any assets they may hold in the US and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

The Treasury announced that the relevant parties were involved in activities in support of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and to carry out harmful cyber-attacks against the US financial system.

Two companies based in Ukraine and two companies located in Iran also appear on the list.

The Treasury listed an Indian company, headquartered in Iran, on the sanctions’ list due to the company’s activities in providing financial and technological support as well as other forms of supports, goods and services to the IRGC in its ballistic missiles program.

In its statement, the Treasury revealed that the firm has since 2014 entered into contracts to procure and install numerous, multi-ton explosion-proof crane systems for the IRGC organization which is responsible for researching and developing ballistic missiles.

The ministry also designated Ukraine-based Khors Aircompany and Dart Airlines for aiding designated Iranian and Iraqi airlines through the provision of aircraft and services.  Both Khors Aircompany and Dart Airlines help Iran’s Caspian Air and Iraq’s Al-Naser Airlines procure US-origin aircraft, as well as crew and services.

“Treasury will continue to take strong actions to counter Iran’s provocations, including support for the IRGC-Quds Force and terrorist extremists, the ongoing campaign of violence in Syria, and cyber-attacks meant to destabilize the US financial system,” Treasury Department Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Thursday.

Risks of Iran Nuclear Deal Collapse

We can sense fear in statements made by Iranian officials and most recently President Hassan Rouhani who warned against the consequences of the big scheme’s collapse – the reconciliation agreement with the West based on the nuclear deal signed during the term of former US President Barack Obama.

The Congress shocked the Iranian government when it reinstated a number of economic sanctions on Iran, and US President Donald Trump insisted on his stance that the nuclear agreement serves Iran more than the US, threatening to abolish it.

Countries of the European Union (EU) are keen to preserve the agreement, which they believe it ushered in a new phase with the Iranian regime. Since signing it, they rushed to seal huge trade deals with Tehran, a move that was previously not possible because the US government would have put any European company that dealt with Iran on the blacklist.

Arab states, especially Gulf countries, were the most provoked by this agreement. They were neither against sealing a deal that eradicates the Iranian nuclear danger nor against dealing commercially with Iran but objected over its high cost – extending Iran’s powers via fighting in Syria, Yemen and Iraq and threatening other Arab states.

In case Iran considered that imposing sanctions abolishes the nuclear deal then it will resume uranium enrichment, renewing tension. Iran offers the West two options: its nuclear project that will threaten the West and Israel in the future, or being allowed to have hegemony over the region.

Tehran used the second option as a weapon to blackmail the West: Obama’s administration struck with it a deal that only aims at halting its nuclear program, allowing it to enjoy its powers in several areas, including those that the US considers as interest zones such as the Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Yet, Iran’s commitment to ceasing the nuclear project is a significant progress that makes Iran worthy of the removal of economic and commercial sanctions. But Obama’s administration went so far in its concessions and allowed Tehran to wage wars, for the first time and in a direct manner, even in states not lying on its border such as Syria and Yemen.

The nuclear agreement is partially responsible for the region’s chaos.

There are more than 50,000 extremists fighting in Syria – directed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and brought in from various countries at the time when the international community was endeavoring to get rid of extremist groups such as ISIS.

Because the nuclear agreement was negotiated discreetly between the Obama and Rouhani teams, the region hasn’t been aware of its details until recently – the Obama administration left behind it a dangerous mine. Iran has become more aggressive after signing the agreement, this is evident.

The deal might succeed in disrupting the nuclear project for another decade but it has fueled a more dangerous war in the Middle East and posed an unprecedented level of threat to regimes since the revolution in Iran in 1979. It also reinforced extremists in Tehran.

The new Iranian threats against the US economic sanctions must be taken seriously because they trigger Iran’s way of imposing what it wants via violence and chaos. But the US relapse in Syria represents a huge tactical mistake because Syria is where Iran can be besieged and obliged to cooperate regionally and internationally.

There is a contradiction here because Washington is escalating with Iran on the nuclear level and allowing it to operate freely on the Syrian front.

IRGC Refuses US Entrance to Military Bases

Iran

London- Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Monday that foreign countries will never be allowed to inspect Iran’s military centers.

Asked by reporters about recent media reports that the US administration is pushing for inspection of Iranian military sites, General Hajizadeh said, “The answer is clear: we will not give them such a permission.”

His comments came after AP quoted senior US officials as saying in late July that the Trump administration is pushing for inspections of “suspicious Iranian military sites,” either to prove that Iran was violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal or force it to refuse, which could cause the agreement to collapse.

Elsewhere in his comments, the top commander said the IRGC supports the Iranian administration to help it confront the United States’ excessive demands.

He also warned that the US is seeking to repeat the Libya scenario in Iran, trying to “disarm” Iran with different tactics such as imposing sanctions, mounting pressure and waging psychological warfare.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in his speech at the ceremony to ratify the presidency of Rouhani, called on the government to stand against the policy of the US administration.

Hajizadeh’s comment comes few days after US President Donald Trump has signed a sanctions law against Iran, Russia and North Korea; the section on Iran includes tough sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards.

For his part, Supreme Leader’s Advisor for Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati has angrily reacted to reports that Trump is seeking access for inspections of “suspicious” military sites in Iran.

“Under no circumstances Americans will be allowed to inspect Iranian military sites”, Velayati said on Saturday.

“They (American inspectors) are neither allowed, nor would they dare to violate Iran’s security domain,” Velayati, a former foreign minister, retorted.

Furthermore, Velayati maintained that such “empty” US remarks would only “discredit” Washington on the international scene.

Notably, AP had mentioned IAEA and not American inspectors. Why Velayati is emphasizing “American” inspectors, is not clear. Also, the US has not officially demanded new inspections.

Rouhani Inaugurated President for a Second Term

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani attends his swearing-in ceremony for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran

London – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced his country’s readiness for further enhancing cooperation with other states and the launch of “mother of all negotiations”, hinting to Tehran’s anticipation for communicating with the new US administration. Rouhani believes that the success of the nuclear agreement will develop foreign and domestic policies and enhance the economic situation.

The president reiterated that Iran will continue to develop its nuclear arsenal which is a guarantor of peace and insisted that a practical agreement must be reached between internal parties for national interests.

At his inauguration before parliament Saturday, Rouhani underscored the need for “national cooperation” and “constructive” relations with the world.

Rouhani was sworn in as Iran’s 12th president in Tehran at the presence of the country’s high-ranking officials as well as leaders and senior politicians from around the world.

The inauguration ceremony started with speeches from Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani at the presence of delegates from more than 140 countries, according to state news agencies, including High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Afghani President Ashraf Ghani, and President of North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Jon-nam.

Rouhani announced his country’s readiness to cooperate with the countries present at the inauguration, adding that Tehran is not against any other country. He said the Iranian nation has made great sacrifices in the path of safeguarding freedom and the rule of law, adding that Iranians have put their trust in the Islamic establishment.

The president reiterated the political agenda of his second government, which he pursued over his first term, maintaining that his government “wants to be one of moderation, one which would not succumb to any aggression or be upset by any excitement.”

He told the audience that he aims to present a pacifist government preferring peace over war and reform over stagnancy in both domestic and foreign policies. The president vowed to follow the Iranian nation’s demands and emphasized that his government is ready to defend the country’s national interests.

During his presidential campaign, Rouhani praised the nuclear agreement saying that it keeps Iran from entering into wars, which was highly criticized by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who considered military power and people as the reason behind avoiding wars.

Rouhani’s defense of his foreign policy came in an attempt to end any criticism of the nuclear agreement, especially after US President Donald Trump signed new sanctions against Tehran.

He emphasized that the time of imposing sanctions has ended and called for holding negotiations in dealing with issues.

Rouhani said the US has not adhered to its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), because it is “addicted to the illegal and ineffective policy of sanctions and threats” and this proved to the world that Washington cannot be trusted. He stressed that Iran would never initiate the violation of the nuclear deal but would not remain silent in the face of US non-performance of the deal.

Referring to largest non-nuclear bomb used, Rouhani said that the time of “mother of bomb” is over. He stated: “Today, it’s not time to unveil the mother of bombs. Time is ripe for unveiling mother of all cooperation.”

“Mother of bombs” weighs 10 tons and is nine meters long, and was used by the US Army in eastern Afghanistan in April. Iran considered the use of this bomb a message directed to it and Washington was strongly criticized by commanders of Iranian armed forces.

In recent weeks, US imposed new sanctions on Iran nationals and entities, accusing it of breaching the nuclear deal.

According to foreign policy experts, Rouhani’s administration is going through its weakest times of foreign policies especially amid the wide criticism he has been receiving internally.

Current Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif is expected to remain in position for the coming four years.

Rouhani linked between peace and weapons saying that his country’s peace depends on weapons and weapons depend on peace, adding that the nuclear agreement is a model of national agreement in Iran.

Rouhani denies any disagreement between Iranian officials concerning the nuclear agreement following the criticism he received that his missile program affects his presidential campaign.

Rouhani also delivered several messages to his policies’ critics especially after recent internal disagreements reached an unprecedented level in the history of the regime.

He reiterated the importance of reaching a common understanding and agreement on national causes and opportunities.

The president vowed to honor his campaign’s promises.

Unlike previous ceremonies, Commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Mohammed Ali Jafari didn’t attend Rouhani’s inauguration as well as Commander of IRGC’s Quds Force Qasem Soleimani. This indicates the ongoing disagreements between Rouhani and top IRGC officials after he described the military forces as a “government with rifle.”

Rouhani Meets IRGC Senior Commanders to Diffuse Tension

President Rouhani meeting with IRGC commanders

London – Two weeks before the presidential constitutional oath and announcement for the new government lineup, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani continued his consultations with decision makers in the country.

The President met with five senior commanders of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in an attempt to diffuse tensions, stressing that unity among all forces and institutions is essential for the realization of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s guidelines and serving the people.

As Iranians look forward to Supreme Leader’s position in the upcoming government, local media reported the meeting between the President and IRGC commanders including: Commander of IRGC Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, IRGC Aerospace Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Basij Commander Gholam-Hossein Gheybparvar, and Deputy Chief of Sarallah unit Esmael Kosari.

Over the past month, deep differences surfaced between the IRGC and the government. Yet, an official statement of the meeting reported friendly atmosphere without any further details on whether the government formation was discussed or not.

Since his election, Rouhani criticized IRGC’s policies describing guards as “the government with gun”, hinting that the IRGC is interfering in the government’s authorities.

During the presidential campaign, the President was very critical of the guards for revealing ballistic missiles’ warehouse saying they are attempting to hamper the government after the sanctions’ lift off.

He also accused the military officials of interfering in the elections to support his conservative opponent Ebrahim Raeisi.

The disagreement initially was about who gave orders to launch six ballistic missiles in addition to varying statements on the attack executed by Iranians belonging to ISIS on the parliament and Khomeini’s shrine.

In his turn, IRGC Commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari rejected Rouhani’s criticism of his forces’ involvement in Iran’s economy and defended his forces’ track record.

Jafari blasted the president’s remarks and emphasized that the IRGC is the main guarantor of Iran’s security and stability.

“A government without a gun is humiliated and ultimately forced to surrender,” he said, adding that the Iranian people need the IRGC’s help now more than ever.

In addition, Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani warned against weakening the Islamic forces by “exposing them to various attacks”, adding that the IRGC has fought an “international war defending its allies in Syria and Iraq.”

Quds Force Commander said that had it not been for the Revolutionary Guard, the country would not have existed.

Rouhani is set to recite his oath and announce his government before the Parliament on August 5.

IRGC is currently pressuring to gain major ministries: defense, interior, and oil. Sources close to the matter suggested that current Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan is likely to remain in position, while other Iranian sources reported that Rouhani is looking forward to assigning an army commander instead.

During the meeting, Rouhani appreciated efforts exerted by the IRGC forces and hoped for armed forces attempts to serve the needs of people.

He also wished that armed forces will bolster their combat powers using modern technologies to safeguard the country. He also expressed hope that all institutions and responsible organs boost their efficiency with more clarity in their specialized fields and guaranteeing national security by increasing the IRGC’s and the Army’s combating power through modern technology.

He also hoped that, during the new government’s tenure, the coordinated efforts of all armed forces would quickly accelerate the fulfillment of the people’s demands and all responsible institutions and organizations, with full transparency in their field of expertise.

The Iranian president highlighted government’s support of IRGC services.

Meanwhile, IRGC Commander Major General Jafari congratulated Hassan Rouhani’s re-election as president. He also extended IRGC’s readiness to maintain all-out cooperation with the government in realizing Islamic Revolution’s objectives.

During the meeting, commanders praised the government’s support in reinforcing defense power and also fighting terrorism in the region.

Commander of Basij Forces Gholamhossein Gheybparvar was the only IRGC leader to congratulate Rouhani following his re-election.

In other news, 70 economic experts sent an open letter to Iranian president warning against falling under political pressures and bargains in the formation of his economic team of the new government.

The experts advised that some candidates for economic positions do not have the suitable requirements.

The signees, most of which are scholars and university professors, said that they do not support any certain party or group, but want a qualified economic team as part of the new government ready to face the economic challenges.

Soleimani Expects the Formation of ‘Ideological Army’ in Iraq

Iran

London– Quds Force Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani reiterated the military role of his troops in Iraq, adding that Iranian military factories worked around the clock to arm Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) after its formation.

He added that Iraqi army is on its way to become ideological, pointing that Lebanese Hezbollah set his full services to help PMF.

Speaking at a mourning ceremony for an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fighter in Syria, Soleimani hailed the role of fighters in defeating ISIS in Mosul and noted that the terrorist group has not only targeted Iraq sovereignty, but also it was a big threat against world security.

The general said the entire world is indebted to the Iraqi and Syrian nations for their courageous battle against the terrorists, reported Tasnim News Agency.

Soleimani said that the Iraqi Army can be trusted against any aggression and doesn’t need foreign troops that enforce itself on Iraq claiming it is supporting the army.

He added that through its expertise, Lebanese Hezbollah helped the PMF, adding that it had lost many of its members in Syria and Iraq.

He further lauded the Iraqi religious authority Ali al-Sistani for a leading role in the formation of PMF which resulted in successive victories against ISIS and the recapture of Mosul.

Soleimani hinted towards the diplomatic solutions and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s will to solve the current issues through negotiations.

“Sometimes we solve issues through diplomacy, which is good. But, some problems can’t be solved through diplomatic ways,” he said.

He also praised the role of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Iraqi government, and the parliament.

For 6 years, IRGC and pro-Iran groups have been participating in the war in Syria alongside Assad troops.

Tehran claims its troops provide “military consultation” based on official request from Damascus and Baghdad.

Lieutenant Commander of IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami praised the military might of the IRGC Ground Force, saying the forces have made the country’s borders “immune” from infiltration of foreigners.

Addressing an IRGC ceremony, Salami said that the force has become a strong pillar of the country’s national security in the face of foreign and domestic threats.

Salami described Iran as “a regional force with international influence.”