DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said they will produce IR8 advanced centrifuges as part of the country’s nuclear program if the US continued to impose pressure.
He defended the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as protectors of the Islamic republic a day after the United States labeled the group as a foreign terrorist organization, and said the army confronted terrorists in the Middle East.
“The Guards have sacrificed their lives to protect our people, our (1979 Islamic) revolution ... today America that holds a grudge against the Guards, blacklists the Guards,” Rouhani said in a live speech broadcast live on state TV.
The US made a mistake by labeling the Guards as a terrorist group, Rouhani stated, adding that it would unite Iranians.
Meanwhile, The Supreme National Security Council declared the United States a “state sponsor of terrorism” and its forces in the region “terror groups,” in a tit-for-tat response.
In a statement carried by the official news agency IRNA, it slammed Washington’s move as an “illegal and foolish act.”
Zarif blasted the US move on Twitter, saying it was timed to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary election in the Jewish state.
“A(nother) misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous US misadventure in the region,” he wrote.
A(nother) misguided election-eve gift to Netanyahu. A(nother) dangerous U.S. misadventure in the region.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 8, 2019
US President Donald Trump designated Iran’s Guards a foreign terrorist organization on Monday — an unprecedented step that critics say will raise tensions in the Middle East.
It is the first time the United States has applied the designation to part of a foreign government, rather than guerrilla groups or other informal entities.
The move follows Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of a multilateral deal with Iran that was meant to lift crippling economic sanctions in return curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.