US sanc­tions breach nu­clear pact Tehran –

Iran vows to re­sist Amer­i­can move

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD - WASH­ING­TON POST, REUTERS AND XIN­HUA TEHRAN AND WASH­ING­TON

PRES­I­DENT Has­san Rouhani said yes­ter­day new US eco­nomic sanc­tions im­posed against Iran con­tra­vened the coun­try’s nu­clear ac­cord with world pow­ers and he vowed that Tehran would “re­sist” them, state tele­vi­sion re­ported.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump slapped the new sanc­tions on Iran on Tues­day over its bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gramme and said Tehran’s “ma­lign ac­tiv­i­ties” in the Mid­dle East un­der­cut any “pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions” com­ing from the 2015 Iran nu­clear ac­cord.

The sanc­tions were im­posed de­spite the fact that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion cer­ti­fied to Congress late on Mon­day that Iran has con­tin­ued to meet the re­quired con­di­tions of its nu­clear deal with the US and other world pow­ers.

At the time, se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials made clear that the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion was grudg­ing, and said that Trump in­tended to im­pose new sanc­tions on Iran for al­leged ac­tiv­i­ties in non-nu­clear ar­eas such as bal­lis­tic mis­sile devel­op­ment and sup­port for ter­ror­ism.

“We judge that these Ira­nian ac­tiv­i­ties se­verely un­der­mine the in­tent” of the agree­ment as a force for in­ter­na­tional sta­bil­ity, one of­fi­cial said. Iran is “un­ques­tion­ably in de­fault of the spirit of the JCPOA,” or Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion, that took ef­fect in Jan­uary 2016 af­ter years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, said a se­nior US of­fi­cial.

Rouhani was out­spo­ken in his crit­i­cism of the US move. “Some of the ac­tions of the Amer­i­cans are against the spirit and even the let­ter of the (nu­clear ac­cord). We shall re­sist these plans and ac­tions,” Ira­nian state tele­vi­sion quoted the Ira­nian pres­i­dent as say­ing.

“One of the plots of the Amer­i­cans is to act in such a way that would make Iran say that it is not fol­low­ing its com­mit­ments… I think the Amer­i­cans will fail as we will al­ways re­spect our in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments,” Rouhani said.

Iran’s par­lia­ment agreed on Tues­day to dis­cuss mea­sures, in­clud­ing in­creased fund­ing for the mis­sile pro­gramme, as re­tal­i­a­tion for the new US sanc­tions, state me­dia re­ported.

Iran’s for­eign min­istry said the move to im­pose new eco­nomic sanc­tions against Tehran was “use­less”, Tas­nim news agency re­ported yes­ter­day. “Iran will, in turn, im­pose new sanc­tions against a num­ber of other Amer­i­can in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties that have taken hos­tile steps against the Ira­nian na­tion and other Mus­lim na­tions in the re­gion.”

The US mea­sures sig­nal that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is seek­ing to put more pres­sure on Iran while keep­ing in place the agree­ment be­tween Tehran and six world pow­ers to curb its nu­clear pro­gramme in re­turn for lift­ing in­ter­na­tional oil and fi­nan­cial sanc­tions.

The US gov­ern­ment said it was tar­get­ing 18 en­ti­ties and peo­ple for sup­port­ing what it said was “il­licit Ira­nian ac­tors or transna­tional crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity”.

In­ter­na­tional mon­i­tors and other sig­na­to­ries of the agree­ment have said that Iran is meet­ing its terms, giv­ing the US ad­min­is­tra­tion lit­tle room for ma­noeu­vre in pro­vid­ing the as­sess­ment re­quired by Congress ev­ery 90 days.

The last cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Ira­nian com­pli­ance, in April, was also fol­lowed by new sanc­tions on Ira­nian in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies the ad­min­is­tra­tion said played a role in bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests that are not cov­ered by the nu­clear agree­ment.

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani.

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