Iranian Army Chief-of-Staff Mohammad Bagheri said Wednesday that the Iranian public had misgivings about the 2015 nuclear deal with the West “from the outset”, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
Speaking in Tehran, Bagheri said the Iranian people had ultimately accepted the landmark agreement “to prove the facts [regarding the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program] to the world”.
He said the U.S. -- along with Saudi Arabia -- had hoped to wage war on Iran but had shifted its focus to economic warfare after the military option had proven unfeasible.
Bagheri went on to assert that the “young and unwise Saudi ruler” -- a reference to Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman -- had offered to pay for a U.S. war on Iran but that they had ultimately “dared not attack us”.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
Acting ahead of a May 12 deadline, Trump on Tuesday opted not to extend sanctions relief on Iran, re-imposing nuclear-related economic penalties on the Islamic republic.
The 2015 deal had placed unprecedented restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Trump had roundly criticized the agreement in 2016 during his electoral campaign, calling it the "worst deal" he had ever seen.
Other members of the P5+1, for their part, say the agreement -- in its current form -- represents the best way to reign in Iran's nuclear program.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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