Middle East

Iran rejects US offers for Tehran to abandon avenging Quds Force Chief, official says

Iran will not give up on its plans to avenge the 2020 US assassination of Quds Force Commander, Qassem Soleimani, despite “regular offers” from Washington to lift sanctions and provide other concessions in return, a top official said on Thursday, and Reuters reports.

Over the last year, Iran and the United States have had indirect talks in Vienna to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that was abandoned by Washington in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump and, subsequently, violated by Tehran.

“The enemy keeps sending messages that if we give up on avenging Soleimani, they will give us some concessions or lift some sanctions,” Revolutionary Guards’ Navy Commander, Alireza Tangsiri, said. “This is pure fantasy. The Supreme Leader has emphasised the need for revenge and the Revolutionary Guards’ top commander has said that revenge is inevitable and that we will choose the time and place for it.”

There was no immediate response from the United States to Tangsiri’s comment.

Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran which, in response, boosted its nuclear enrichment programme beyond the limits of the Accord with world powers who sought to make it more difficult for Iran to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes.

READ: Iran announces arrest of suspected Mossad spies

Negotiations with the administration of President Joe Biden have mainly stalled over Tehran’s demand of Washington to remove the Revolutionary Guards from its Foreign Terrorist Organisations list, something that the US would not be ready to consider unless the Guards agree to rein in their influence in the Middle East and cease threats against American forces.

Soleimani, head of the Guards’ elite Quds Force, was killed by US air strikes in January 2020 while on a visit to Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

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