Enemies' Iranophobia scheme used to sell arms to Mideast: Iran military chief
Iran Press TV
Sun Feb 10, 2019 04:33PM
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says enemies of the Islamic Republic have intensified their effort to spread Iranophobia with the purpose of signing arms deals with countries in the Middle East.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Iran's military chief added that the Islamic Republic has never had a covetous eye on any regional country over the past four decades, but has maintained advisory presence in regional countries that have been faced with terrorist attacks upon their request.
Iran's top military commander then noted that the country has been offering advisory assistance to the Syrian and Iraqi governments in the face of Takfiri terrorists, saying, "We will continue our presence in these countries as long as they want and will leave them whenever they do not want. This is contrary to what Americans do, who stay [in regional countries] with force despite opposition of people in those countries and then accuse the Islamic Republic [of interference in other countries' affairs]."
In an exclusive interview with Press TV in October, spokesman for Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the Islamic Republic will keep its military advisory presence in Syria as long as Tehran finds it "effective and useful" and as long as the Arab country's government demands.
Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the Islamic Republic has been supporting Syria in accordance with international regulations since the beginning of the crisis in the country.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Baqeri pointed to recent statements by some European countries about Iran's missile and defensive capabilities and emphasized, "The defense power of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including [its] missile might, is not negotiable at all."
He added that instead of making remarks on Iran's defense capabilities, Europeans should remove obstacles in the way of banking and economic exchanges with the Islamic Republic as a small part of their commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.
"Europeans have a huge debt to the Iranian nation. Iran has fulfilled all its commitments under the JCPOA and this has been verified by international organizations, particularly the International Atomic Energy Agency," Baqeri said, adding, "However, member states of the P5+1 group of countries, which were supposed to remove all banking and economic restrictions against Iran, failed to fulfill their commitment. The Americans have quit the JCPOA and other signatories [to the deal] are dawdling when it comes to fulfilling their commitments.
Iranian authorities have invariably asserted that the country's missile program has not been established for unconventional purposes and is only meant as part of the country's deterrence capability.
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian late last month made remarks against Iran's missile program and its regional role, saying that his country was ready to impose new sanctions on Tehran if no progress was made in talks over its ballistic missile program.
"We have begun a difficult dialog with Iran... and unless progress is made, we are ready to apply sanctions, firmly, and they know it," Le Drian said, demanding that Iran change its behavior in the region, particularly regarding its presence in Syria.
In reaction to the French foreign minister's remarks, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic acts independently in adopting its defense policies and will never allow other countries to interfere in that regard.
Qassemi said, "As we have said time and again, we determine our own defense policies and will not allow others to interfere with such issues."
Later on February 3, the senior spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces once again reiterated Iran's message of peace and friendship to the world, emphasizing that the country seeks no one's permission to boost its defense capabilities.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran manufactures any equipment it requires to defend the country and will not ask for anybody's permission in this regard," Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi told IRNA.
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