Rouhani threatens ‘response’ if Obama extends sanctions

Iran’s president urges Obama urged to veto bill that would extend penalties for 10 years, as Tehran simmers over Senate passage of measure


An Iranian woman walks past a mural on the wall of the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran, November 9, 2016. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani demanded Sunday that US President Barack Obama not sign an extension of US sanctions, saying the bill is a violation of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years.

Speaking in an open session of Iran’s parliament Sunday, Rouhani said Obama is “obliged” to let the sanctions expire.

The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers lifted a variety of international sanctions in exchange for limitations on the Iranian nuclear program. However, the US still maintains its own separate set of sanctions, which will expire on December 31 if Obama does not sign the extension into law.

Rouhani promised a “prompt response” from Iran if the US sanctions are extended.

“We are committed to an acceptable implementation of the deal but in response to non-commitment, violation or hesitation in its implementation, we will act promptly,” he said.

Also on Sunday, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani called on lawmakers to adopt reciprocal measures in response to the sanctions, Iran’s state-run IRNA news website reported.

The comments came two days after Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the extension of sanctions against Iran and said the act is a clear violation of the landmark nuclear deal reached between Iran and the world powers last year.

“The US president has agreed within the framework of the nuclear deal that he would use his authority to prevent the legislation and enforcement of any measures in violation of the deal, such as the recent act by the Congress,” said Bahram Ghasemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman.

Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said on Friday that Iran will carefully consider how to respond.

“We will definitely make no emotional decisions but will make a decision based on prudence, vigilance and wisdom,” he said.

Earlier in November, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, warned that, “Definitely, the Islamic Republic of Iran will react” if the US sanctions were renewed.

December 4, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Leave a Reply

1 Comment / 1 Comment