IRGC Slams New Sanctions as Attempt to Force Iran to Submit to US 'Hegemonic System and Zionism'
On Wednesday, the US Treasury slapped new sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other entities involved in Iran's ballistic missile programme. Islamic Republic officials have stressed repeatedly that Tehran would not allow any nation to regulate or otherwise control the country's ballistic, cruise, and drone armaments.
The IRGC reacted to new US sanctions against its missile research unit, promising to ignore "recent delusional remarks made by the US terrorist regime", and calling Iran's missile programme and influence in Middle Eastern countries "red lines" which are not subject to revision.
"Iran's missile power, respect and regional sphere of influence are associated with the IRGC", and the corps "will give categorical and destructive responses to even the smallest mistake of the evil and adventurist enemy against the Islamic homeland", the elite military formation said in a statement cited by Tasnim.
Citing attempts to "undermine and impede" Iran's deterrence power, whose ultimate goal is said to be "to destroy the Islamic Republic or make it and the Iranian nation submit to the Zionist regime", the IRGC said it would join with other branches of the Iranian Armed Forces and security services to "safeguard the independence, security and national interests" of the country.
"We state adamantly that Iran has never defined the path of increasing its deterrence power, which guarantees [the country's] progress and security, according to the aspirations, desires and wishes of the rulers of the White House and their evil allies, and will not change this policy through pressure, labels, threats or seductions by their media and evil propaganda", the statement added.
The IRGC's blustery statement follows remarks by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh Thursday characterising new US sanctions as a sign of "malice" toward Tehran, and a part of Washington's "failed maximum pressure policy".
"It clearly proves that the current administration, contrary to its claims, uses every opportunity to level baseless accusations and put pressure on the Iranian people", Khatibzadeh said.
The new Treasury sanctions announced Wednesday target the IRGC, Iran's Parchin Chemical Industries, and an intermediary accused of procuring parts for missile propellant systems. The restrictions were issued as Tehran and Washington continue to inch closer to finalising a US return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal, which the Trump administration unilaterally backed out of in 2018 amid heavy Israeli lobbying.
Facing decades of arms embargoes from its erstwhile Western allies, Iran has created an array of domestically-designed and manufactured ballistic and cruise missiles which the country says are its main guarantee to strategic security against foreign aggression amid its rejection of weapons of mass destruction.
Last month, US Central Command chief Kenneth McKenzie told US lawmakers that the Islamic Republic has an arsenal of about 3,000 ballistic missiles, and called the Iranian missile programme an "exigent threat" to US allies and partners.
Iranian officials have brushed off any and all attempts by the United States and its European allies to rein in its missiles - including a push by the US last year to include a point about the weapons in an "updated" JCPOA treaty.
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