Iran nuclear deal

Iran IRGC commander says revenge for Soleimani is ‘certain,’ not up for negotiation

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Iran has received offers from “enemies” to drop its pursuit of revenge for the US killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in exchange for some concessions, a senior Iranian commander said on Thursday, adding that Tehran will not accept any such offers and that revenge for Soleimani is “certain.”

“The enemies keep sending us messages that if you forget about avenging Soleimani, we will give you some concessions and lift some sanctions, but this is a false fantasy,” Iranian state media quoted Admiral Alireza Tangsiri, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Navy, as saying.

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“The supreme leader has emphasized revenge and the IRGC’s overall commander has said that revenge is inevitable, and we will determine when and where revenge takes place,” Tangsiri said.

“All the perpetrators of the assassination of martyr Soleimani will surely be punished in this world for their dirty deed.”

Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, ordered by then President Donald Trump. Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the IRGC.

Iran has been routinely threatening revenge against Trump and members of his administration over the killing of Soleimani. The Associated Press reported in March that the US State Department spends more than $2 million a month to provide 24-hour security for former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former Iran envoy Brian Hook, who face “serious and credible” threats.

Earlier this week, Iran’s foreign ministry’s spokesman said punishing those behind the killing of Soleimani was a “basic and definite principle“ of Tehran’s foreign policy.

Under President Joe Biden, the US has for over a year engaged in indirect talks with Iran in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned in 2018.

The talks have been paused since last month, reportedly over an Iranian demand to have the IRGC removed from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. The US designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization under Trump in 2019.

Trump withdrew Washington from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, saying the deal failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional activities and it did not block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, responded by expanding its nuclear program, breaching most of the deal’s restrictions.

The 2015 deal offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The Vienna talks, which began in April 2021, aim to bring Iran back into compliance with the deal and facilitate a US return to the agreement.

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