The Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the new Washington sanctions against the country’s individuals and institutions, and said they are against the Geneva agreement inked by Tehran and the world powers, including the US, in November.
“This move fully runs counter to the trend of the settlement of the nuclear issue,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said in a statement on Saturday.
She said that Iran dismisses any unilateral interpretation of the Geneva deal by the US and “strongly believes that the imposed sanctions are against the US undertakings based on the Geneva agreement”.
Stressing that the new sanctions will leave negative and unconstructive impacts on the trend of the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), Afkham said, “Such measures question specially the seriousness, honesty and good will of the US and other parties to the negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and bring uncertainty and doubt in their commitment to any possible final agreement which should certainly guarantee the removal of all illegal and illegitimate sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
She said that while Iran has taken confidence-building measures reflected in numerous reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran expects similar moves by the US and other G5+1 members and reserves its right to adopt reciprocal measures.
“The US and other members of the G5+1 which have kept mum on these explicit violations of the Geneva agreement are responsible for the consequences of this trend,” Afkham said.
“The era of using the inefficient tactic of pressure and negation is over and it is the time for the US to seriously and explicitly adopt a stable realistic approach to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and show a steady practical attitude accordingly,” she added.
Her remarks came after Washington, once again, imposed a new wave of sanctions against Iranian companies and individuals despite the interim nuclear deal cut in November 24, 2013, between Tehran and the six major world powers.
The US Treasury Department said on Friday that the sanctions have targeted shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six Iranian banks.
On November 24, Iran and the world powers sealed a six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program. In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.
Earlier this month, the legal advisor of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, Jamshid Momtaz, underlined that removal of all sanctions against Tehran will remain as an inseparable part of a permanent deal with the G5+1.
In December 2013, three top US senators, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), began circulating a draft of new Iran sanctions bill that violated the terms of the interim deal struck between Iran and the Sextet of world powers.
Iran and the six world powers have been in talks over a final and permanent solution to their nuclear standoff ever since they signed an interim deal in Geneva in November. On July 20, the deadline for reaching a final agreement on Iran’s future nuclear activities was postponed by four months—until November 24—to give more time for diplomatic efforts.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton in a joint statement after over two weeks of talks in July stressed the need for more efforts and time to reach an agreement with the world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The two officials who presided the negotiating sides, emphasized at the end of Iran-G5+1 negotiations that they have held different sessions in different forms and in a constructive atmosphere to reach a final comprehensive agreement.
Due to certain differences over some fundamental issues the two sides agreed to extend the Joint Plan of Action by November 24, they added.