Teheran decries bill for US punishments
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Tuesday that the sanctions against Iran are “oppressive” and should be lifted.
“We have announced that these sanctions are oppressive and we reject them,” Afkham said at her weekly news conference reacting to the recent moves in the US Congress to adopt new sanctions against Iran.
According to the interim agreement reached in Geneva on Nov 24, the comprehensive deal would encompass removal of all sanctions, including multilateral, unilateral and UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, she said.
“Based on the negotiations and according to the Joint Plan of Action, the sanctions should have begun to split and break up, from our perspective,” she added.
The spokeswoman noted that the recent remarks by a number of US congressmen about the imposition of new sanctions against Iran are aimed at “creating a psychological atmosphere”.
“We hope in the course (of implementing the interim deal) and in the final stage, the issue of sanctions would be solved,” she said.
“For this reason, the Iranian negotiating team is working for the removal of all the sanctions, securing a peaceful nuclear program and enrichment activity (for the country) in the final deal,” she added.
Two US senators are preparing legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran in six months if the interim deal on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program goes nowhere.
The Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk are close to agreeing on legislation that would target Iran’s remaining oil exports, foreign exchange reserves and strategic industries, aides said on Monday.
The legislation, which faces an uphill battle, including opposition from the White House, would seek to limit the ability of US President Barack Obama’s administration to waive sanctions on Iran. It would also reimpose sanctions if Teheran reneges on the interim deal struck last month. A senior Republican Senate aide called the legislation “an insurance policy to protect against Iranian deception”.
The White House said last week it opposed an effort by some members of the Senate to impose new sanctions on Iran, even if they would not take effect for months.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad- Javad Zarif said earlier that the Geneva nuclear deal would be dead if the US Congress passes new sanctions against Iran.