Will retaliate against new sanctions imposed by US: Iran

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

Iran's foreign ministry declared Saturday that the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers was final and Tehran will commit to no further obligations, comments that come less than a day after U.S. President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to his European allies to "fix" the deal.

While Trump approved the waiver, new, targeted sanctions were announced against 14 entities, including Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran's judiciary.

The two sides exchanged opinions on a statement regarding the Iran nuclear deal made by the US, Xinhua news agency reported.

The United States imposed sanctions on a high-ranking Iranian official for the first time since reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, Armen Israyelyan, an Armenian expert on Iran, said in a Facebook post.

While Trump did not levy nuclear sanctions on the regime, the administration is hitting Iran with several other sanctions for its ballistic missile activity and violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in recent weeks.

In the statement, Trump listed his conditions for legislation that would address future USA participation and called on European allies "to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people".

He said the pact should be strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days, or else the U.S. will withdraw.

Responding to Trump's harsh stance, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that it was "desperate attempts" to undermine an accord which Iran said was "not renegotiable".

The 2015 nuclear accord was signed by the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, lifting economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limitations on its nuclear program.

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Iran vowed on January 13 to retaliate against the sanctions on Larjani.

But the president stressed this is the last time he would waive sanctions against Tehran.

The White House faced a series of deadlines related to the deal on Friday, most importantly, whether to renew or terminate a waiver for sanctions on Iran's central bank and energy sector.

USA officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told the Associated Press that Mr. Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people.

Iran will not accept any commitment beyond what has been mentioned in the JCPOA and will not accept any change in the deal either.

Trump will now work with European partners on a follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime can not exceed related to ballistic missiles, said a senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the decision. You're not going to get Democratic votes for rewriting the deal.

But proponents of the deal say that it forced Iran to destroy much of its nuclear equipment and allow strict inspections that prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Trump alleged that Iranian regime is the world s leading state sponsor of terror and enables Hezbollah, Hamas, and many other terrorists to sow chaos and kill innocent people. It has said it will abide by the agreement as long as other signatories do, but warned that it would "shred" the deal should Washington pull out.

The British and German foreign ministries said they had taken note of the decision and would confer with France before deciding on a course of action.

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