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Iran says in US interest to respect nuclear deal

8 December 2016 16:20

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says it is in the interest of the US to remain committed to last year’s landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries.

Addressing a seminar in Tokyo on Thursday, Zarif said that the agreement was “multilateral” and endorsed by the UN Security Council but the US has a “less than respectable” history in abiding by international laws.

“I’m not basing our hope on an illusion that people will respect international law out of their goodwill or good natures,” he said.

He made the remarks after the US Senate voted unanimously last week to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years.

The bill includes penalties against Iran’s banking sector as well as its energy and defense industries. The bill needs to be signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

Criticizing the move by the US Senate, the top Iranian diplomat said that anti-Iran sanctions have not worked in the past and would accomplish nothing if strengthened.

“Sanctions will harm us, but won’t break us,” he said.

He also noted that other parties to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), would be unlikely to buy into the US sanctions.

On Wednesday, the supervisory committee tasked with monitoring the implementation of the JCPOA ratified measures in response to the move by the US Senate.

Members of the committee, headed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhan, denounced the move as a breach of the accord.

The committee members studied retaliatory measures and approved them in case of possible future violations, stressing that the Islamic Republic would closely monitor the US government’s moves and react proportionately.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started to implement the JCPOA on January 16.

Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related bans imposed against Tehran.

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