0151 GMT February 20, 2019
The US withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal in May was the main episode in a psychological campaign against Iran that has been in the making for years, the president’s chief of staff said.
“The modus operandi of the enemies against Iran has now changed from military to propaganda,” Mahmoud Vaezi said.
“The front (of this propaganda) is a psychological war that wants to ruin the achievements of the JCPOA,” he added.
He was referring to the official name of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani managed to ease years of tension between Iran and the US when he opened up to the West and curbed Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Vaezi said that “the government could finally see sanctions lifted which would facilitate the economic conditions in Iran by the implementation of the JCPOA.”
“But the triangle of the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia wanted to increase the pressure on Iran while their main objective was to cause the JCPOA to collapse,” he added.
Vaezi added that the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal was actually supposed to be the beginning of a long-running propaganda campaign.
The US expected Iran to react in the same way and abandon the JCPOA, something that Vaezi said would pave the way for the return of international sanctions and pressure against Iran.
“They (US officials) had planned a massive propaganda against Iran,” he said.
President Rouhani said in May that the US president expected Tehran to leave the nuclear deal after the US withdrawal, but he miscalculated Iran’s reaction.
He said Tehran had refused to follow that plan by trying to save the deal with its remaining signatories.
“It is well-known that Iran is a country which treads down the path of peace and acts in line with international regulations,” the president said at the time. “Today, the US should come under pressure as a country going against its promises and acting in contravention of regulations.”
Doomsday picture painted
Vaezi pointed to the exaggerated effects of the return of US sanctions, saying that the US tactics aimed to instill despair in the Iranian people.
Vaezi added, the objective of this propaganda campaign was to instill the idea that the Islamic Republic would not see its 40th anniversary next February.