Iran’s pres­i­dent threat­ens re­sponse to US sanc­tions

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani said yes­ter­day that Tehran would “re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately” to new US sanc­tions but that Iran re­mained com­mit­ted to its nu­clear deal with world pow­ers. “The Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran will al­ways stick to its in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments,” Rouhani said in a tele­vised cab­i­net meet­ing. But if the US wants “to press for­ward with new sanc­tions un­der any pre­text... the great na­tion of Iran will re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately,” he said.

“We will not for­give vi­o­la­tions by the Amer­i­cans and we will stand against them.” His com­ments came a day af­ter the US and Iran traded tit-for-tat sanc­tions over the Is­lamic repub­lic’s bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram. The State De­part­ment slapped sanc­tions on 18 in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties in Iran, hours af­ter the White House ad­mit­ted Tehran was stick­ing to the 2015 agree­ment. Iran hit back with its own sanc­tions against “Amer­i­can peo­ple and en­ti­ties that have acted against the Ira­nian peo­ple and other Mus­lim peo­ples of the re­gion.”

Rouhani yes­ter­day ac­cused Wash­ing­ton of “du­plic­ity”. “On one hand they send of­fi­cial re­ports to Congress ver­i­fy­ing that Iran has been com­pletely loyal to the nu­clear deal,” Rouhani said. “On other hand they seek new sanc­tions un­der var­i­ous ex­cuses against logic (and) the spirit and text” of the ac­cord, he said. Iran’s par­lia­ment on Tues­day voted to stream­line a bill that would in­crease fund­ing for the coun­try’s mis­sile pro­gram and Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards in re­sponse to Wash­ing­ton’s “ad­ven­tur­ism” in the re­gion.

An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of law­mak­ers voted to pri­or­i­tize the mo­tion that would see an ad­di­tional $260 mil­lion al­lo­cated to de­vel­op­ing the mis­sile pro­gram and the same amount to the elite Revo­lu­tion­ary Guards’ for­eign op­er­a­tions wing, the Quds Force. Rouhani ac­cused his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Don­ald Trump of break­ing in­ter­na­tional deals on Cuba, North Korea and cli­mate change, all reached un­der Trump’s pre­de­ces­sor Brack Obama. He said Wash­ing­ton was push­ing Iran to “aban­don its com­mit­ments” and that the US was “wor­ried over im­proved eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween Iran and Asia and Europe”. “We are happy that so far the 5+1 (world pow­ers) have stood strongly to pro­tect” the nu­clear deal, he said. —AFP

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