TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ordered the country’s scientists to start work on nuclear-powered ships in response to the expected renewal of sanctions by the United States.
In letters read out on state television, Rouhani criticised the US move as a breach of last year’s nuclear accord and told Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation to start work on “planning the design and production of fuel and nuclear power plants for maritime transport.”
Under the deal signed in July 2015, world powers agreed to lift international sanctions in exchange for curbs to Iran’s nuclear programme.
But US lawmakers recently voted to renew 10-year-old sanctions legislation against Iran related not just to nuclear issues, but also ballistic missile-testing and human rights.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure into law in the coming days, saying it makes no difference to last year’s agreement because the White House will continue to suspend all the sanctions linked to Iran’s nuclear programme.