While Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei continues to fiercely condemn the West for an “economic war” which he asserts the USA is already waging against the country, the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani asserts that the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran averted a war.
In the first clip here, Khamenei, speaking during the Friday sermon in Tehran on April 16 2016, says: “One of the tricks of the enemy – [you should] all pay attention – from both the previous and current government in America, is the threat of wage war [against Iran], and to keep repeating that war, war and military options are on the table.European officials also tell our officials that war against Iran would have been inevitable if it were not for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA, known commonly as the ‘Iran deal’ or ‘Iran nuclear deal’, the international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, signed in Vienna on July 14, 2015], then war against Iran was certain, it is a sheer lie”.
He added, “Why do they say ‘war’? Because they want us to be preoccupied with the threat of military war, but the real war is something else. The real war is, in fact, ‘economic war’; the actual war is economic sanctions; the genuine war is depriving the country’s interior from employment, activity and technology – this is the true war. They misdirect our attention to the threat of military war so that we forget and are indifferent to this real war.”
In the second, more recent clip, Rouhani asserts in a speech delivered in February of this year that the nuclear deal achieved nothing since the sanctions that existed in 2015 are still in place, with no action taken to lift them. In fact, he says, “the only thing that the ‘JCPOA’ has brought to our country without being affected by any war is that the UN Security Council, after the conclusion of [23 months of] negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group, a country that was previously subject to mandatory resolutions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter was able to cancel this resolution without being exposed to war, an occurrence for the first time in world history.Addressing the crowd at a National Symposium held on February 25 in the run-up to the upcoming election presidential election, Rouhani continued, “You read, you know the history, the politics; [you know] that there is no country in the world that’s been listed and approved for inclusion under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter against it, which has been able to survive this. They [the Western powers] either overthrew the regimes listed or waged war against that country “You could give us an example of any exceptional case worldwide in this regard. Nevertheless, our country was successful in its policy which resulted in canceling the mandatory resolutions of Chapter 7 of the UN charter which was approved by those organizations and bodies operating within the National Security Council.”
Gently mocking Ayatollah Khamenei’s previous call to set fire to the nuclear deal, Rouhani smiled as he said, “There are people who believe that the nuclear deal is merely a simple piece of paper that can be tossed into the fireplace”. He indicated, “But we achieved it through our policy [a self-congratulatory reference to his administration’s policy of political pragmatism]. Our foreign policy sought this goal [to prevent other powers from waging war against Iran] and our efforts were fruitful, managing to stop a resolution for war at the same hands of those bodies who had approved it against our country. At the time, the phrase used against us was, “Iran is a country threatening international peace and security’. Now, however, this phrase has been reversed to become ‘Iran is a country that we must cooperate with.’”