US sanctions breach nuclear pact Tehran –
Iran vows to resist American move
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.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.