Iran slams new US sanctions on firms, individuals
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi slams the new US sanctions targeting Iran, saying the bans run counter to the spirit of the recent nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six major world powers.
“This [US] move is against the spirit of the Geneva deal,” Araqchi said on Friday.
“We are assessing the current situation,” the senior member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team added.
On Thursday, the administration of US President Barack Obama issued new sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for “providing support for” Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The US Treasury Department said it was freezing assets and banning transactions of entities that attempt to evade the sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions came despite the nuclear deal inked between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US – plus Germany in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24 in a bid to set the stage for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries have undertaken to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during six months. It was also agreed that no more sanctions would be imposed on Iran in the same time frame.
Iran and the six powers ended four days of intense expert-level negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had earlier warned that the Geneva nuclear deal will be “dead” if the US imposes further sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“The entire deal is dead. We do not like to negotiate under duress. And if Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States,” Zarif said in an exclusive interview with Time magazine in Tehran on Saturday.