Iran Reproves US Sanctions Which 'Cross All Red Lines,' Vows to Respond

  • Iran Reproves US Sanctions Which 'Cross All Red Lines,' Vows to Respond

Iran Reproves US Sanctions Which 'Cross All Red Lines,' Vows to Respond

Iran has said it will not accept any changes to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, after US President Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the agreement unless its "terrible flaws" are fixed.

The Trump administration has accused Iran of fomenting instability and violence across the Mideast, and the president's decision gives the White House and Congress more time to forge legislation punishing the country for that behavior without directly ending the nuclear accord that Iran reached with the USA and five other world powers. The new deal - which Trump envisions as being outlined in U.S. law and involving Britain, France and Germany - would impose tougher controls on Iran if sanctions relief is to continue.

Washington policy hawks hailed Trump's decision, which they said would concentrate minds in Europe, where leaders have urged the United States president not to sabotage a deal they see as a landmark diplomatic success.

The president wants US Congress to modify a law that reviews US participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said. Congress didn't touch the issue.

These penalties largely cut Iran out of the worldwide financial system, until they were suspended by Obama under the nuclear deal.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday it was a "desperate attempt" to undermine a "solid" deal. "We are targeting the head of Iranian regime, including the head of Iran's judiciary for the appalling treatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned only for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest of their government".

French President Emmanuel Macron phoned Mr Trump on Thursday to call for "the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it".

In particular, it will not begin to expire after 10 years as parts of the existing deal do, but instead would impose permanent restrictions on not just Iran's nuclear plants but also its missile programme. The Treasury Department's action hits 14 Iranian officials and companies and businessmen from Iran, China and Malaysia, freezing any assets they have in the US and banning Americans from doing business with them.

"Of course we would not like such a thing to happen as we made a lot of effort to achieve the JCPOA", said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, at the time. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.

"Iran strongly announces that it will make no measure beyond its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) commitments and will make no changes in the nuclear deal neither now nor in the future", the statement said. "No one should doubt my word".

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the awful flaws of the Iran nuclear deal".

The decision had been expected since earlier this week.

The president wants them to help the United States devise a new agreement created to prevent Iran from escalating nuclear activity again next decade, as permitted under the 2015 arrangement reached by President Barack Obama.