A top-ranking Iranian general of the country's Revolutionary Guard reacted Monday to the United Nations Security Council resolution -- which is part of the groundbreaking nuclear agreement -- saying that it crossed some “red lines” involving Iranian defenses.
The statement by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, who is head of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard, did not interfere with the nuclear agreement that was unanimously endorsed by the U.N. Security Council Monday, but it does reveal a division of opinion among high-ranking Iranian officials.
Gen. Jafari's remarks came as the Security Council voted 15 to 0 to approve the resolution, which will require Iran to accept long-term limits on its nuclear program and allow inspections of its nuclear facilities. In return, economic sanctions on the country will be lifted by the U.S., EU and U.N.
“Some parts of the draft have clearly crossed the Islamic Republic’s red lines, especially in Iran’s military capabilities. We will never accept it,” Jafari told Iranian news agency Tasnim, emphasizing that he was speaking as a member of the military.
Some observers questioned Gen. Jafari's motives in speaking out against the agreement between Iran and world powers. “He and others just want to be registered as critics of this agreement so that in case things go wrong they can say we told you so,” Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political analyst close to the government, told the New York Times.
Others believed the general's remarks were intended to garner support for the Revolutionary Guard within Iran by not aligning itself with Western powers. Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement after the Security Council vote that supported the acceptance of the agreement but also emphasized that Iran would continue to strengthen its military. The agreement is expected to be approved Tuesday when it goes before Iran's Parliament.