04:08 GMT02 April 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    The United States earlier blacklisted the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror group, in an escalating spiral of hostile rhetoric and actions aimed at curbing Iran's regional influence and apparent nuclear ambitions.

    Iran's influential Revolutionary Guards have downplayed Washington's muscle-flexing and stated that the Islamic Republic does not fear a potential armed conflict, following a year of ever-growing tensions and weeks of US military build-up in the Middle East.

    IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday that Iran's elite paramilitary force doesn't "support engaging in any war" but at the same time doesn't "fear the occurrence of a war."

    "We have enough readiness to defend the country," he said, adding that Iran has boosted its military capabilities over the past 30 years while the United States "is not more powerful than before".

    Iranian military and civil officials have on multiple occasions refused to hold any peace talks with the United States.

    Most recently, a deputy IRGC commander said that negotiating with the "Great Satan" will bring no result.

    While Donald Trump is said to be seeking a peaceful way out of the crisis and Japanese Prime Minister Abe is pitching his services as a mediator, Tehran is expecting the POTUS to back up his intentions with actions.

    "Actions − not words − will show whether or not that's Donald Trump's intent," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday.

    The United States has been amassing military forces in the Middle East, alleging that Iran was plotting an attack on US interests and was behind recent attacks on commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and Saudi oil facilities, something that Tehran vehemently denied.

    The Trump administration has taken a belligerent stance on Iran, pulling out of the hard-fought 2015 nuclear deal and imposing sanctions on the oil-rich country.

    Trump said the rationale is to pressure Iran into a new nuclear deal, because the existing agreement has allegedly failed to stop the country from pursuing nuclear weapons development.

    READ MORE: EU States Must Do More to Preserve Nuclear Deal — Iran's Foreign Minister

    Iran had consistently maintained that it was fully committed to the deal, but relentless US pressure (which included efforts to cut off its crucial oil exports) prompted the Islamic Republic to scrap parts of the deal.

    Earlier this month, Iran announced that it would lift the caps on stocks of enriched uranium and "heavy water" − the materials used to produce both nuclear power and weapons − and threatened to resume higher enrichment of uranium if world powers fail to shield its economy from crippling US sanctions.


    Iran Showing 'Maximum Restraint' in Face of US Exit From Nuclear Deal - Zarif
    Tehran Officially Halts Some Nuclear Deal Commitments - Reports
    Russian FM: Iran Had the Right to Partially Suspend Nuclear Deal Commitments
    Europe Believes Iran Nuclear Deal Necessary, Favours Deal Implementation - Maas
    military, war, IRGC, Iran, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook