Te­heran threat­ens re­sponse to sanc­tions

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

TE­HERAN, Iran — The coun­try said on Wednes­day that it will stand up to the United States and re­tal­i­ate for any new sanc­tions that Wash­ing­ton im­poses on the Is­lamic repub­lic.

Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani’s re­marks came a day af­ter the Don­ald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced new, non-nu­clear sanc­tions while at the same time warn­ing Te­heran that it would face con­se­quences for breach­ing “the spirit” of the nu­clear deal with world pow­ers.

Wash­ing­ton slapped sanc­tions on Tues­day on 18 en­ti­ties and in­di­vid­u­als linked to Iran’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram and other non-nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties.

Wash­ing­ton says Iran’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile launches are threats to US in­ter­ests.

On Wednes­day, Bei­jing called for mu­tual trust and re­spon­si­bil­ity from all sides to safe­guard and carry out the 2015 Iran nu­clear deal.

“Ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion re­lies on nec­es­sary mu­tual trust by all sides,” said Lu Kang, a For­eign Min­istry spokesman.

If Wash­ing­ton, un­der any pre­text, im­poses new sanc­tions against Iran, “we will stand up to the United States”, Rouhani said, adding that the “great na­tion of Iran will have an ap­pro­pri­ate an­swer” and the Ira­nian Par­lia­ment will also act.

He did not elab­o­rate. His speech, at a Cab­i­net meet­ing, was broad­cast on state TV.

Rouhani, a po­lit­i­cal mod­er­ate who se­cured a re­sound­ing re-elec­tion in May, has been in­creas­ingly out­spo­ken against the US, call­ing re­la­tions with Wash­ing­ton “a curvy road” even as he touts the nu­clear ac­cord.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion on Mon­day con­firmed that Iran had met its obli­ga­tions un­der the nu­clear deal, but warned it would face con­se­quences for breach­ing “the spirit” of the ac­cord, a ref­er­ence

Ef­fec­tive in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion re­lies on nec­es­sary mu­tual trust by all sides.” Lu Kang,

to Iran’s con­tin­ued pur­suit of a bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram.

Rouhani spec­u­lated that such state­ments seek to dis­suade Iran from con­tin­u­ing to com­ply with the nu­clear deal. The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency has ver­i­fied that Iran has lived up to its nu­clear com­mit­ments.

“This plot will never suc­ceed,” he added. “We will al­ways re­main loyal to our in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments.”

‘Mean and point­less’

Iran’s For­eign Min­istry con­demned the lat­est sanc­tions on Tues­day, call­ing them “mean and point­less”, and said it will re­tal­i­ate. Iran in April and May im­posed re­cip­ro­cal sanc­tions on dozens of US com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als, al­leg­ing they sup­port ter­ror­ism and re­pres­sion against peo­ple in the re­gion such as the Pales­tini­ans.

Later on Wednes­day, Gen­eral Mo­ham­mad Ali Ja­fari, head of Iran’s pow­er­ful Revo­lu­tion­ary Guard, warned the US against im­pos­ing sanc­tions on the paramil­i­tary group.

“If the US in­tends to pur­sue sanc­tions on the Guard, it should first dis­as­sem­ble its mil­i­tary bases within 1,000 kilo­me­ters,” Ja­fari was quoted as say­ing by state TV, ap­par­ently re­fer­ring to the range of Ira­nian mis­siles.

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