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Pro-Khamenei Scholar: Nuclear Deal Won’t Stop Attacks against US Forces

Pro-Khamenei Scholar: Nuclear Deal Won’t Stop Attacks against US Forces

Saturday, 9 April, 2022 - 09:00
Fighter jets are seen during an Iranian Army exercise dubbed 'Zulfiqar 1400', in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, Iran, in this picture obtained on November 7, 2021. Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

Tehran’s Friday prayer interim imam, Kazem Seddiqi, ruled out any link between the Iranian nuclear talks and the halt of attacks against US forces in the region.

The attacks against US forces will “continue” until the end of their “illegal” presence in the region, Iranian websites quoted Seddiqi as saying.

“Before the nuclear agreement, an expensive drone was hunted down and (US) bases were hit in Syria and Ain al-Assad… It has nothing to do with the nuclear agreement,” he stated.

“As long as this illegal presence continues, the attacks will persist,” he added.

Seddiqi called on Iranian officials to abide by the directives of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, on the need to obtain appropriate guarantees in any nuclear deal.

“Nuclear energy is one of our basic needs… we should not be deceived again,” he underlined.

In June 2019, Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone in international airspace east of the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran said at the time that the plane, worth more than $110 million, had violated its airspace.

In January 2020, the Iranian IRGC fired at least 15 missiles at two military bases accommodating US forces in Iraq. Fifty US military personnel were diagnosed with concussions and traumatic brain injuries as a result of the attack.

Seddiqi’s statements come amid a heated debate in the United States over removing the IRGC from the terrorist list, after a request made by Iran at a crucial moment of the nuclear negotiations in Vienna.

In recent comments, Chief of Staff of the US Army Gen. Mark Milley voiced opposition to removing Al-Quds Force, the foreign arm of the IRGC, from the US terrorist list.

AFP noted that Milley, by referring specifically to the Al-Quds Force and not to the IRGC as a whole, might be giving an indication of a possible compromise.

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