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Senior Cleric: Iran Must Retaliate For U.S. Violation Of Nuclear Deal

TEL AVIV – A senior Iranian cleric called on Iran to “retaliate” against the U.S. for “violations” of the nuclear deal following Thursday’s vote in Congress to level new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

In a Friday address, Ali Movahedi Kermani said, “Nothing but hostility is expected from the U.S., but as said before, now it’s time to reciprocate,” the state-controlled Fars news agency reported.

“As the Supreme Leader has stated, if the [Iran Sanctions Act] law, which extends sanctions against Iran for another 10 years is approved, it will certainly and undoubtedly violate the nuclear deal, and they should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show serious reaction against it,” Kermani said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned last month that implementation of the extended Iran sanctions would be in clear violation of the nuclear deal.

“If this extension is implemented and comes into force, it will certainly be a violation of the nuclear deal and they should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show reaction,” Khamenei said.

“In addition to breaking promises and defying its undertakings under the nuclear deal or leaving them incomplete, the U.S. administration has turned the nuclear deal into a tool to pressure Iran again, and those (Iranian) officials engaged with the nuclear deal have explicitly confirmed this issue,” he added.

Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi on Friday threatened that if the ISA goes ahead, “Iran will take action accordingly.”

“Iran has shown its commitment to its international agreements, but we are also prepared for any possible scenario. We are ready to firmly protect the nation’s rights under any circumstances,” added Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi.

Iranian lawmaker Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said the parliament would convene Sunday to discuss legislation that would “immediately halt implementation of the nuclear deal” if President Barack Obama signs the extended Iran Sanctions Act into law, which he is expected to do according to White House spokesman Eric Shultz.

The Iranian parliament is also considering the implementation of a blanket boycott of U.S. goods.

“Given the U.S. hostile measure, meaning extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another 10 years, a double-urgency plan to ban purchase of the U.S.-made consumer goods has been prepared in the parliament,” Mohammad Reza Tabesh, a senior Iranian parliament member, said on Friday.

Ayatollah Kermani has in the past threatened to “raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground” if Israel made any move against Iran.

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