Iran Responds to Sanctions, Votes on Bill to Monitor US ‘Terror’

  • Iran

    Iran’s parliament. | Photo: AFP

Published 11 August 2017
The measure is a response to the United States’ recent imposition of sanctions against Tehran’s development of non-nuclear missile defense systems.

Iran has rejected the recently imposed U.S. sanctions against them, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump’s accusations that they are not in compliance with 2015’s nuclear deal, and is planning to take retaliatory measures against U.S. “acts of terrorism,” and regional “adventurism.”

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The Iranian Parliamentary body is preparing to vote on a bill which “takes into consideration the aspects of U.S. hostile measures in the region and their behavior in different areas… acts of terrorism and human rights violations will be put under close monitoring,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the spokesperson of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy said.

The bill would allocate funds to several Iranian state bodies to monitor, assess, and probe U.S. activity in the region.

The measure is a response to the United States’ recent imposition of sanctions against Tehran’s development of non-nuclear missile defense systems.

Iranian leadership says that the U.S.’s sanctions are a clear violation of 2015’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) implemented by the United Nations Security Council. The “nuclear deal” placed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities, in exchange for normalization of economic and political relations.

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Speaking from his private golf club on Thursday, U.S. President Trump has accused Iran of not “living up to the spirit of the agreement,” which he called a “horrible agreement.” The president went on to allude to “very strong things” that will happen “if they [Iran] don’t get themselves in compliance.”

The international agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has repeatedly verified Iran’s fulfillment with the agreement’s terms. Iran has said that the non-nuclear missile defense program is fully within its rights to develop.

The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Tuesday during on interview with al-Mayadeen news network that the U.S. sanctions are an attemp to undermine the deal, and that the U.S. will be the only one to suffer should they try and withdraw from it. The deal will continue regardless, he said, because all other major participants have continued to uphold it, including the European Union, China, and Russia.

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Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:15AM
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi

A senior Iranian official has warned against serious ramifications of breaching the 2015 nuclear deal, expressing Tehran’s preparedness to respond to any such scenario.

Addressing a Friday meeting of Japan’s Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said if any party to the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), violates its terms, they will have to pay a “serious cost.”

Araqchi denounced the new US sanctions against Iran over its missile program as “unacceptable” and argued that Tehran’s missile program, which relies on Iranian people’s capabilities, is solely defensive and deterrent.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany reached the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and began implementing it in January 2016.

The UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively turned the JCPOA into international law.

Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.

However, the US Senate and Treasury Department have imposed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic and several Iranian companies and individuals in recent months over its national missile program, which is not in breach of the JCPOA.

Araqchi’s comments come as the Iranian parliament (Majlis) is set to vote on a motion which incorporates a host of retaliatory measures in the face of US “acts of terror” and “adventurism” in the region.

A view of Iran’s Parliament (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

The bill, which was passed by the Majlis’ Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy on Wednesday, will be put on the parliament’s agenda next Sunday, said Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, the committee’s spokesman, in a Thursday interview with the IRIB.

It “takes into consideration the aspects of US hostile measures in the region and their behavior in different areas, [including] acts of terrorism and human rights violations, will be put under close monitoring,” he added.

The bill allocates some $609 million to several state bodies, including the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Judiciary, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Quds Force, to monitor and probe US actions in the region, the lawmaker said.

Iranian lawmakers had passed the single-urgency motion with 93 percent of the votes, referring it to the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee for further consultation with different state organizations and legislative bodies, Naqavi Hosseini said.

The motion comes in response to the US violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear energy program and Washington’s new sanctions against Tehran’s missile activities, the latest round of which was adopted last month.

‘Iran’s source of power is its people’

Elsewhere in his remarks in Japan, Araqchi elaborated on Iran’s role in the Middle East, describing the Islamic Republic as the most stable and secure country in the tense region.

Iran, contrary to many other countries, gains power from its people, Araqchi said.

He went on to enumerate the key challenges facing the Middle East, including poverty and economic disparity, undemocratic regimes, extremism and terrorism as well as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Araqchi described Takfiri terrorism as the main challenge in the Middle East, which jeopardizes the entire global community and called for a collective campaign by all countries to eradicate the phenomenon.


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