Zarif defends nuclear deal, hails Majlis for anti-US bill

Zarif defends nuclear deal, hails Majlis for anti-US bill
ID : N-124 Date : 2017/08/16 - 16:55

(Persia digest)- Defending his performance in President Hassan Rouhani’s previous administration, Mohammad Javad Zarif who has kept his spot as foreign minister on Rouhani’s list for a second term, touched on the 2015 nuclear deal that was signed under his ministry’s watch.

He said the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was not the result of Iran’s trust in the US, but rather every single part of it showed Tehran’s “serious distrust” of Washington.

He also thanked the Iranian parliament for supporting the nuclear agreement in all its stages.

The top Iranian diplomat further hailed the legislative body’s approval of a motion to confront “America’s terrorist and adventurous actions” in the region. The bill was passed in response to recent US sanctions against the Islamic Republic, in yet another violation of the JCPOA.

The deal was inked between Iran and the P5+1 countries — namely the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — in July 2015 and took effect months later in January 2016.

Under the accord, which was later endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of all nuclear-related bans imposed on the Islamic Republic, among other things.

President Rouhani who addressed the parliament Tuesday when he submitted the list of his picks, warned that Iran could restart its nuclear program "within hours" if the United States imposes any more new sanctions.

Rouhani also said the program would be more advanced than in 2015, when Iran curbed its nuclear activities as part of a deal with world powers.

In response to recent US sanctions, Iran's lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved the outlines of a motion to boost spending on Tehran's missile program and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). 

The measure came in retaliation to legislation passed by US Congress and signed by US President Donald Trump in early August to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile
program.

The new US sanctions violate a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran both "in letter and spirit." Tehran says its missile program does not breach a UN resolution which endorsed the nuclear deal.

The Iranian plan would require Iran's government and armed forces to draw up a strategy to counter US violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian bodies and
individuals affected by US sanctions.

The measure would also allocate over $260 million each to Iran's ballistic missile program and the Quds Force — the external arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The government must also use all available international capacities, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, to take action against the US over its human rights violations, “like its crimes against humanity in Yemen.”

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull out of the nuclear agreement, and after a missile test at the end of January his administration declared that the US would no longer turn "a blind eye to Iran's hostile and belligerent actions".

While acknowledging that the test was "not a direct violation" of the nuclear agreement, it imposed sanctions on 25 individuals and entities connected to its missile program and the powerful Revolutionary Guards force.

Further sanctions targeting six Iranian companies were announced in late July following Iran's launch of a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit.

And earlier this month, Trump signed into law a bill passed by Congress that requires the president to impose sanctions on individuals facilitating Iran's ballistic missile program, "foreign persons that are officials, agents, or affiliates" of the Revolutionary Guards, and on those responsible for human rights abuses.

In his speech to parliament on Tuesday, the president stressed that Iran wanted to abide by its commitments under the nuclear deal, which he called a "model of victory for peace and diplomacy". But he warned that this was not the "only option".

"Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions," Rouhani said.

"If they want to go back to that experience, definitely in a short time - not weeks or months, but in the scale of hours and days - we will return to our previous situation very much stronger."

He said the world had seen clearly that under President Trump the US was "not a good partner or a reliable negotiator", noting that he had said he would withdraw from the Paris climate accord and reverse parts of an agreement with Cuba.

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