Fri, Jul 21, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Rouhani says Tehran will ‘stand up to’ US sanctions

‘CURVY ROAD’:The US government is trying to dissuade Iran from fulfilling a nuclear deal, the Iranian president said, adding that the ‘plot will never succeed’

AP, TEHRAN

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a Cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said that his nation will stand up to the US and reciprocate for any new sanctions that Washington imposes on the Islamic republic.

Rouhani’s remarks came a day after the administration of US President Donald Trump announced new, non-nuclear sanctions while at the same time warning Tehran that it would face consequences for breaching “the spirit” of the nuclear deal with world powers.

The new sanctions, perceived as the latest attempt to clamp down on Iran’s military financing, target 18 Iranian individuals and groups, ranging from an Iran-based company accused of aiding the country’s drone program to a Turkey-based provider of naval equipment and a China-based network that helped secure electronics for Tehran.

If Washington, under any pretext, imposes new sanctions against Iran, “we will stand up to the United States,” Rouhani said, adding that the “great nation of Iran will have an appropriate answer” and that the Iranian parliament will also act.

He did not elaborate.

His speech, at a weekly Cabinet meeting, was broadcast on state TV.

Rouhani, a 68-year-old cleric and political moderate who in May secured a resounding re-election over a hard-line opponent, has been increasingly outspoken against the US, calling relations with Washington “a curvy road” even as he touts the 2015 nuclear accord.

The Trump administration on Monday confirmed that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear deal, but warned it would face consequences for breaching “the spirit” of the accord — a reference to Iran’s continued pursuit of a ballistic missile program.

Rouhani said that such statements seek to dissuade Iran from continuing to comply with the nuclear deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has verified that Iran has lived up to its nuclear commitments.

“This plot will never succeed,” Rouhani added. “We will always remain loyal to our international commitments.”

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Tuesday condemned the latest US sanctions, calling them “mean and pointless,” and said it will retaliate with sanctions on more Americans.

Iran in April and May imposed reciprocal sanctions on dozens of US companies and individuals, saying they support terrorism and repression against people in the region, such as the Palestinians.

Later on Wednesday, Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari, head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary guard, warned the US against imposing sanctions on the paramilitary group.

He said the Guard’s missile program is not negotiable and hinted that new sanctions could put US military bases in the region in danger.

“If the US intends to pursue sanctions on the guard, it should first disassemble its military bases within 1,000km” Jafari was quoted as saying by state TV, apparently referring to the range of Iranian missiles.

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