Iranian FM: U.S. Sanctions Vote Shows Lack of American Credibility

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister condemned the US Senate’s extension of a piece of anti-Iran legislation, state TV reported Saturday.

On Thursday the Senate voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years. The measure will now be sent to outgoing President Barack Obama to sign. Iran’s state television quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif (pictured) as saying that the extension “shows the lack of credibility of the US government.”

On Friday, Bahram Ghasemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, issued a statement condemning 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.

Ghasemi said, “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.”

The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers lifted a variety of international sanctions in exchange for limitations on the Iranian nuclear program. Lawmakers say the Iran Sanctions Act, which is set to expire December 31 if it is not extended, gives the United States the clout to punish Iran should it fail to live up to the terms of the nuclear deal.

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.

State TV also reported quoted Iranian president Hassan Rouhani as saying that all signatories to the nuclear deal need to honor their commitments.

“The deal is a product of seven countries, and one country must not be allowed to undermine the deal based on its own desire,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Lavrentiev.


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