A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says the signing of fresh anti-Iran sanctions by US President Donald Trump is an attempt to destroy the country’s nuclear deal with world powers.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi made the announcement on Wednesday, shortly after Trump signed into law a bill by Congress that imposes new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — inked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July 2015. It lifted nuclear related sanctions on Iran, which, in turn, put certain limits on its nuclear work.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog has invariably certified Iran’s commitment to its contractual obligations since January 2016, when the deal took effect. The US, however, has prevented the deal from fully yielding. Washington has refused to offer global financial institutions the guarantees that they would not be hit by American punitive measures for transactions with Iran.
“The US’ main goal for imposing the sanctions against Iran is to destroy the JCPOA and we will react very intelligently to these measures,” said Araghchi.
Noting that Trump’s move was predictable as Congress had almost unanimously voted for the new sanctions, Araghchi stressed that it showed the US believes the JCPOA has empowered Iran in the region.
“Based on this perspective, the general belief in Washington is that this situation must be reversed and Iran must be put under pressure,” he said, adding that the nuclear deal is a hindrance for such measures.
He noted that imposing fresh sanctions on Iran is an attempt to reduce Tehran’s benefits from the nuclear accord and to negatively affect its “successful implementation.”
The senior Iranian official also said that in a committee chaired by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani several decisions were made over reactions towards Washington’s provocative measures, which will be duly handed over to the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“On Monday, the committee for monitoring the implementation of the JCPOA had a meeting in which all aspects of the new measures were discussed and very intelligent responses were designed,” he added.