Te­heran de­cries bill for US pun­ish­ments

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES in Te­heran, Iran

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.

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