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Cruel sanctions by US on Salehi, AEOI will fail to interrupt Iran’s nuclear program

The United States' "cruel" sanctions on the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and its head, Ali Akbar Salehi, will fail to interrupt the Islamic Republic's peaceful nuclear program, says the nuclear body.

In a Twitter post on Friday, the AEOI slammed the “unwise” move by US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Iran’s nuclear organization and its chief, which “will not in any way interrupt the peaceful nuclear activities and policies.”

The unwise move by @realDonaldTrump to impose sanctions on Dr.Salehi and AEOI will not in any way interrupt the peaceful nuclear activities and policies.Such cruel sanctions will further enhance the nuclear scientist motives in neutralizing the hostile U.S policies— سازمان انرژی اتمی ایران (@aeoinews) January 31, 2020

“Such cruel sanctions will further enhance the nuclear scientist motives in neutralizing the hostile US policies,” it added.

The US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Salehi on Thursday, adding his name to the SDN (Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons) List of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The Treasury will, however, issue waivers to sanctions that bar non-US firms from continuing their work in certain AEOI-related projects such as the heavy water reactor in Arak, the Fordow enrichment facility, the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the Tehran research reactor.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi earlier in the day blasted the new sanctions on the country’s nuclear chief.

Iran: US sanctions on nuclear chief imposed 'out of desperation'

Iran: US sanctions on nuclear chief imposed ‘out of desperation’Iran has blasted new US sanctions on its atomic energy organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi, saying they will not impede the country

“Sanctioning this prominent scientific and political figure, which has been made only out of desperation, will have no effect on the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program,” Mousavi said.

Sanctioning Salehi proves US anger at failed ‘maximum pressure’ policy: Deputy FM

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi also said on Friday that Washington’s move to impose sanctions on the AEOI chief only proves its desperation and anger at the White House’s failed ‘maximum pressure’ policy.

In a post on his Instagram account, Araqchi hailed Salehi as a prominent political figure and an eminent scientist of Iran’s nuclear know-how and said, “Our country’s nuclear science today is taking the highest scientific and practical steps under his management.”

He pointed to Iran’s recent steps to reduce its nuclear commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “Contrary to what some have claimed, not only all nuclear capabilities (including enrichment and heavy water) remain intact, but today Iran’s capabilities in the field of peaceful nuclear technology are not essentially comparable with era before the JCPOA.”

The US president withdrew Washington from the nuclear accord in May 2018 and re-imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Under pressure from Washington, the three European signatories to the deal — Britain, France and Germany — failed to protect Tehran’s business interests under the JCPOA against the US bans.

After months of gradual steps to reduce compliance, Iran announced on January 5 that it would take the fifth and final step in reducing its commitments under the nuclear accord to both retaliate for Washington’s departure, and trigger the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.

The Iranian government announced in a statement that from now on, the country will observe no operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the amount of enriched materials as well as research and development.

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