Iran has never demanded the removal of IRGC from a US terrorism list for a nuclear deal; a media represntative for Tehran has reportedly told Russia’s Sputnik.

Mohammad Marandi, who was a member of Tehran’s team in the Vienna nuclear talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as JCPOA, was quoted by Rouydad24 website in Iran as having told Sputnik, that reports by Western media about the demand to remove the Revolutionary Guard from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) is not true.

“This issue was never a pre-condition…What has been on the table is the [US] track record in partial implementation of the JCPOA and its ultimate violation. Iran deems this unacceptable and Washington’s unwillingness to remove sanctions,” Marandi was quoted as saying.

The Sputnik website is not accessible in most countries after the invasion of Ukraine and Iran International cannot verify Rouydad24’s exact quotations, but a website in Iran would hardly dare to be inaccurate in reflecting the words of an important official.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Kowsari, an IRGC officer and an influential member of parliament said Monday that, “It would not be acceptable at all that the Guards…remain under sanctions.” He also demanded “guarantees” that “all sanctions be removed” and rejected any notion of a selective approach in the matter.

Mohammad Kowsari, IRGC officer and member of Iran's parliament

Kowsari went on to accuse the US of using the issue of IRGC’s terror designation to refuse providing “permanent” guarantees to Iran. “At least there should be guarantees for the two remaining years of the Biden administration,” he said.

After the Vienna talks stalled in March, reports emerged that Tehran was demanding the delisting of the IRGC and Washington’s position was that the issue was not related to nuclear sanctions, which it had agreed to suspend or remove.

Lately, the issue of guarantees is again being raised by Iran, which if applied to assurances for full economic and financial access by entities sanctioned for terrorism or human rights violations, basically means the removal of all sanctions.

US administration officials and President Joe Biden himself have said that a final offer has been made to Iran months ago and it is up to them to decide. At the same time, during his trip to the Middle East last week Biden pledged bot with Israel and Saudi Arabia not to allow Iran to become a nuclear weapons state.

Marandi went on to argue that the United States is in not “in a strong position to act against Iran,” and the best option for them is to come to an agreement to unlock Iran’s oil flow, which they need.

The US-born Iranian official who plays a role in reflecting Iran’s positions in English language with international media, also spoke about reports about the creation of an air-defense alliance between Israel and Arab states concerned about Iranian missile and drone threats. He reportedly told Sputnik that even if such a system is set up it cannot pose a challenge for Iran.

“There is no regional country that can be considered Iran’s rival. Our only rival is America. Israel and Saudi Arabia are small and weak. Iran is the most militarily advanced country in West Asia,” Marandi claimed.

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