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No Negotiation Under Pressure, Says Guards Officer, Others Set Fire To U.S. Flag

Anti-U.S. demonstration in Tehran on Friday, May 10, 2019.

Yadollah Javani, a political deputy to IRGC commander says "There will be no negotiations with the United States," Tasnim news agency affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps reported on Friday May 10.

However, in order to distance Javani from the IRGC and make it clear that it is not IRGC's official position, Tasnim headlined the report as: "Javani's reaction to Trump's statement."

The IRGC's official positions on key issues are usually voiced by its commander-in-chief and its views on minor matters are usually declared by its Public Relations office.

This is the first political signal coming out of IRGC following the appointment of its new commander General Hossein Salami on April 21. It is also the first reaction by someone linked to IRGC about President Trump's Trump's remarks on Thursday about looking forward to Iranian leaders calling him.

Another interesting point in the news story is that Javani says "The Iranian nation will not negotiate under pressure," which could mean Javani did not rule out negotiations per se. Nevertheless, there was nothing new in Javani's statement as several other Iranian officials have also said the same at various points in the past.

On the other hands many Iranians and some Americans on social media have been cracking jokes on the conversation Trump said he was expecting, while some others call for such a conversation without naming any Iranian official.

Iranian Twitter user Ali Ramezan reminded Trump of the high cost of telephone calls from Iran and asked him to call from America since his income is in U.S. dollars [not the devalued Iranian currency].

In a similar move, a former U.S. nuclear negotiator, Richard Nephew, tweeted that "If, right now, Rouhani called White House Ops to be put through to Trump, Bolton would throw himself down all three flights of stairs and through about three doors to slam his hand down on the receiver."

Meanwhile, Tehran's new Friday Prayers leader Mohamad Javad Haj Ali Akbari in his sermons expressed support for the Rouhani administration's partial withdrawal from the nuclear deal with the West.

Semi-official news agency ISNA quoted him as saying, "Europe's reaction in ruling out Iran's ultimatum was a nervous reaction." He characterised Europe's swift reaction to Rouhani's statement as "non-conventional," and called the Rouhani administration's decision a significant revolutionary move.

Other reports from Tehran say hundreds of demonstrators marched in the streets of downtown Tehran on Friday, expressing support for the partial withdrawal from JCPOA while chanting angry slogans against the United States and President Donald Trump.

Iranian agencies reported that demonstrators set fire to the U.S. flag at the end of their demonstration. This was happening after quite some time since the last time such a move was seen in Tehran.

Meanwhile, Iran's UN envoy Majid Takhtravanchi, aka Ravanchi, criticized Trump for pulling out of the nuclear deal in an interview with MSNBC, and said Trump's statement about former US Secretary of State John Kerry calling Iranian officials and telling them not to talk with Trump is something he has heard from Trump for the first time.

Ravanchi also criticized Trump for saying that he does not want Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Ravanchi said that Trump must have not read statements by the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA which has said repeatedly that Iran has been in full compliance of its commitment according to the JCPOA.