Iran won’t take US bait to scrap accord: Officials
A senior lawmaker says the US is provoking Iran to leave the 2015 nuclear accord with world countries, but the Islamic Republic will not withdraw from the deal.
“It’s a conspiracy of the Americans who want to pressure the people and the government to get out of the JCPOA and pay the cost of stopping it,” Hossein Naghavi Hosseini told Tasnim news agency on Saturday.
Naghavi Hosseini, who is the spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s parliament, was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as the nuclear accord is known.
On Thursday, the US Senate approved new sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which Iranian officials said violated the JCPOA. The US Department of the Treasury on Friday imposed more embargoes on Iranian companies after the country launched a satellite carrier rocket.
Meanwhile, Iranian media reported on Saturday that the parliament has approved a special plan aimed at countering hostile US measures in the region.
Tensions have mounted between Washington and Tehran, which severed diplomatic ties after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, since President Donald Trump took office six months ago.
Naghavi Hosseini said the Americans continue to treat Iran with “enmity, spite and hostility” despite the nuclear agreement, adding the “Americans have become more emboldened after the JCPOA and their hostilities increased.”
“After the conclusion of the JCPOA, it was expected that the Americans would moderate their hostilities and enmities to some extent.
“But you saw that not only did this not happen and the hostilities were not tempered, but they also intensified these hostilities, so that since the implementation of the JCPOA, the Americans have imposed new sanctions or breached their covenant and the accord for more than 17 times,” he said.
The MP likened the US to “a brute that if you stand against it, it will also stand; if you follow it, it will run away but if you retreat, it will come after you and follow you up to your doorsteps.”
On Friday, the New York Times said Trump was frustrated that his national security aides had not given him any options on how the United States could leave the Iran nuclear deal.
The paper said the US president had instructed his aides to find a pretext for declaring that Iran was violating the terms of the accord.
American officials, it said, have already told allies they should be prepared to join in reopening negotiations with Iran or expect that the United States may abandon the agreement, as it did the Paris climate accord.
According to the NY Times, the US has begun raising with inspectors in Vienna the possibility of demanding access to military sites and if the Iranians balk, Washington could use it as a pretext to declare Tehran in violation.
Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, pictured below, said the new American administration is “a new trend which is engaged in designing measures with a more hardline approach than before against the Islamic Republic.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not only retreat in the face of threatening moves, but it will take harsher measures or proportionate with them,” he said on Saturday.
Jahangiri said a committee supervising the implementation of the JCPOA, which is headed by President Hassan Rouhani, is monitoring US moves, adding if the panel deems the Americans to be violating the accord, “the Islamic Republic of Iran will react severely.”
The JCPOA is an agreement reached between Iran and the five members of the UN Security Council, namely the US, Russia, Britain, France and China, plus Germany.
Naghavi Hosseini said, “Of the six members of the opposite side, one actor is an outlaw. But we will not ruin the game because of one actor … and we will rather deal with this offending actor.”
The lawmaker said a bill on “US adventurist and terrorist” moves in the region was passed on the Majlis floor on July 18, which designates US military forces and intelligence services as supporters of terrorist groups in the Middle East.