Iran’s hardliners – those who cast the United States as an implacable enemy and the pragmatists who seek rapprochement with the West – are finding a common stance… against US President Donald Trump.
After repeatedly blaming his predecessor Barack Obama of being too soft on Iran, Trump is expected to announce a hardening of policy, which is likely to include “decertifying” a landmark 2015 deal that lifted international sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Responding to Trump’s plans, Iran lashed out on October 10, threatening to teach the Americans “new lessons” and keep “all options on the table” if Washington blacklists its Revolutionary Guards.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, Trump is also expected to designate Iran’s most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organisation. The IRGC has a vast economic empire in Iran, and blacklisting it could make it more difficult for Iranian businesses to access the global financial system.
“It seems the Trump administration understands only swear words, and needs some shocks to understand the new meaning of power in the world,” Iranian armed forces spokesman Masoud Jazayeri, who is also a Revolutionary Guards commander, said.
“The Americans have driven the world crazy by their behaviour. It is time to teach them a new lesson.”
On October 10, several Iranian newspapers published a photo of Iran’s US-educated Foreign Minister Javad Zarif laughing and hugging the commander of the IRGC, Major-General Mohammad Ali Jafari, in a display of unity between the two main factions of Iran’s leadership.
“We have a similar stance but different ways of saying it,” the papers quoted Jafari as saying.