A prominent lawmaker said the new US sanctions against Iranian entities are meant to punish Tehran for its outstanding role in the Palestinians’ victory against the Israeli regime in the recent Gaza war.
“The usurper Zionist regime couldn’t materialize its goals after 51 days of savage attacks against the defenseless Gaza people, and as the prime minister of the illegitimate regime said Tel Aviv’s failure against the resistance was due to Iran’s supports for the Palestinians,” Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told FNA on Sunday.
“And as they take Iran responsible for their failure, they are trying to get even with Tehran through imposing new sanctions,” he added.
Boroujerdi said that the Israelis’ humiliating failure and defeat in the war against the Palestinians further degraded the Zionists’ position in the eyes of the world public opinion.
His remarks followed the US government’s announcement of a slew of penalties targeting dozens of Iranian individuals and entities, including shipping and oil companies, banks and airlines.
The latest sanctions – which Washington said were leveled as punishment for existing restrictions being skirted – come despite Iran’s ongoing talks with the West which are aimed at ending the decade-long nuclear dispute.
Most Iranian officials have condemned the new US sanctions as a provocative move in breach of the Geneva nuclear accord between Tehran and the six world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani said the United States’ fresh sanctions run counter to the Geneva deal between Tehran and the six world powers, warning that Washington’s continued hostile moves have made Iranians distrustful of the US.
“Our people are fully distrustful of the Americans, and the US had better have paved the ground for attracting their trust to some extent. The US moves make the Iranian people even more distrustful of the US and these actions run counter to the Geneva agreements,” President Rouhani said during a press conference here in Tehran on Saturday.
He then pointed to the US justifications that it has not imposed any fresh sanctions against Iran to violate the Geneva deal, and the newly embargoed individuals and companies have been punished as an extension of the previous sanctions, and said, “Even if we imagine that they are right, such a behavior still runs counter to the spirit of the Geneva Agreement.”
“Besides, we basically believe that sanctions are illegal and wrong in essence and their form is also incorrect and unconstructive from our viewpoint,” the Iranian president added.
Asked by NBC network if the new US sanctions would damage the chance for striking a final deal with the world powers, the president said other 5+1 member states have not taken any action that Iran could deem as a damage to the talks since the Geneva deal was signed in November, and “the United States is the only country that Iran holds deep doubts about its good will for the settlement of the nuclear standoff”.
He once again reminded that the path of sanctions has proved to be wrong and would not yield any result, while it has been “harmful to all parties”. “The path which used to be adopted was a lose-lose path, and today everyone is after a win-win game, although the negotiations are hard.”
Rouhani said there are, at least, three or four complex issues on the agenda of the talks which still need to go under further negotiations, including a series of talks later this week.
“We will continue the negotiations till we obtain results and we are hopeful that if the other side shows good will, we will be able to achieve understanding and agreement in the remaining period,” the Iranian president reiterated.
Rouhani said Iran would not stop the talks in retaliation for the new US sanctions, but Washington’s move is a damage to “trust and honesty” as a pillar of the negotiations.
He said no matter Iran and the six world powers can work out a permanent and final deal by the deadline or not, the tight sanctions regime which was in place against Tehran a year ago cannot be revived.
The Iranian president said the sanctions have already cracked and they cannot be mended.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry also 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.
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.
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.
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.