Iranian force chief Quds warns US as hopes for nuclear deal fade

The commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has warned that the United States “will be crushed” if it attacks Iran, according to state media.

Brig. General Esmail Ghaani warned that Iran’s military capabilities have advanced to the point that the United States “cannot do what you used to do in the past.” … Hit-and-run tactics no longer work, ”he said. noted.

The threats come as the latest round of indirect negotiations continues in Vienna over cutting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions.

Earlier today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “Iran’s recent decisions, its recent rhetoric, don’t give us much reason to be optimistic.”

“It is not too late for Iran to step back and engage in a meaningful way,” Blinken told reporters at a summit in Stockholm. “In the very near future, around the next day or so, we will be able to judge whether Iran really intends to engage in good faith.”

Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said Wednesday evening that his side had presented its proposal “to remove unjust sanctions and nuclear problems”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday that talks were continuing, but his government was “not optimistic.”

“We went to Vienna with serious determination, but we are not optimistic about the will and intention of the United States and the three European parties to the agreement,” Amir-Abdollahian reportedly said. noted during a telephone conversation with the highest Japanese diplomat.

Yesterday, the United Nations nuclear watchdog warned that Iran was enriching uranium in the latest round of talks, using advanced centrifuges at its Ferdow plant in violation of the 2015 agreement, to which Tehran is still a party.

“What Iran cannot do is maintain the status quo to build its nuclear program while dragging its feet in talks. It won’t happen, ”Blinken said today.

Washington’s pessimism comes after an unequivocal warning was issued late last month by the senior White House official overseeing US policy in the Middle East.

Brett McGurk Told at Manama Security Summit US Will Not Allow Iran To Obtain Nuclear Weapon And Look To “Other Options” If Diplomacy Fail .

“When it comes to military force to prevent a country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, that’s a very achievable goal,” McGurk said. noted.

McGurk’s comments came after repeated public warnings from the Israeli government that he is prepared to use military force against Iran’s nuclear program – a move many analysts consider unwise if Israel goes it alone.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday urged Blinken to immediately stop negotiations in Vienna and not give in to what he called Iran’s “nuclear blackmail”.

Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, Germany and the European Union were all parties to the original 2015 agreement, which former US President Donald Trump unilaterally dropped out in 2018, leading Iran to start enriching uranium again.

The Trump administration enacted a broad sanctions regime against Iran after withdrawing from the deal, but Iran only lobbied its campaign to support proxy militias across the Middle East with finance, weapons and training in order to have a leverage effect.

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