A senior Iranian General has slammed the US’s stringent demands on Iran and threats of tough new sanctions, warning Washington that Iran’s missile development and military might was too great to be destroyed even in the event of direct conflict.

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, criticised Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12-point plan for Iran’s inclusion in a new nuclear treaty with the US.

Speaking at a ceremony in Tehran, Mr Salami said: “They think Iran should end the development of its missile programme.

“Since they cannot force us, they ask us to do it, ourselves.”

In a stark warning to the US, he added: “No one can destroy our missile power and if they are afraid they can go to shelters.”

Mr Pompeo delivered a stark warning to Iran in his first speech as Secretary of State last Monday, and outlined a 12-point plan of “basic requirements” Iran needs to fulfil before the US can pursue new negotiations and dialogue with the country.

These demands include ending the enrichment and reprocessing of plutonium, releasing all US citizens held in the country, and ending the support to Middle East “terrorist” groups including Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif criticised these demands and the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, stating: “US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits.

“Imprisoned by delusions and failed policies, dictated by corrupt special interest, it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards.

“Iran meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions.”

Yet speaking at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, Mr Pompeo reinforced his threats and warned of the dire outcomes for Iran from the US’s potential heavy sanctions.

He said: “After our sanctions come into full force, Iran will be battling to keep its economy alive.

“Iran will be forced to make a choice — either fight to keep its economy off life support at home or keep squandering precious wealth on fights abroad.

“It will not have the resources to do both.”

He also directly criticised the Iranian government, stating: “Recent anti-government protests in Iran show that the Iranian people are deeply frustrated with their own government’s failures.

“The Iranian economy is struggling as a result of bad Iranian decisions.

“Workers aren’t getting paid, strikes are a daily occurrence, and the rial is plummeting.

“Youth unemployment is at a staggering 25 per cent.”

Despite the US official’s threats, he stopped short of announcing a time frame for when the US would start implementing its new anti-Iran sanctions.

Source » express