Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Iran mocks sanctions list

‘LARGEST-EVER’ US LIST:The senior vice president, one of several officials to publicly criticize the list, said the US thinks a longer list is a more effective one

AP, TEHRAN

A handout picture made available by the Iranian Army shows a Sayad missile being fired from a Talash missile system during an air defense drill in an undisclosed location in Iran on Monday.

Photo: AFP / Iranian Army Office

The “largest-ever” US sanctions list targeting Iran drew mockery from Iranian officials on Tuesday for including mothballed Boeing 747s, a bank that closed years earlier and a sunken oil tanker that exploded off China months ago.

However, the new list of sanctions, which aims to cut Iran’s vital oil industry off from international sales, included for the first time the state-owned Iran Air and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, further highlighting the maximalist approach of US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Trump in May pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran struck with world powers.

UN monitors have said that Iran still abides by the deal, in which it agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

The US Department of the Treasury imposed penalties on more than 700 Iranian and Iranian-linked individuals, entities, aircraft and vessels. Among those sanctioned are 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, and more than 200 people and ships.

However, scattered among the list are surprising entries, such as the crude oil tanker Sanchi.

That vessel in January collided with a bulk freighter and caught fire off China’s east coast, killing all 32 sailors aboard.

Another entry was Iran’s Tat Bank, which closed in 2012.

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif took to Twitter to mock some of the targets of the sanctions, describing it as a “desperate” psychological ploy.

“The US designated a bank that was closed 6 years ago, and a ship that sank in a widely televised saga,” he wrote.

However, for the first time, the US targeted Iran Air. It also sanctioned the state carrier’s mothballed fleet of Boeing 747s, which were manufactured in the 1970s.

The US directly sanctioned the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which oversees Tehran’s nuclear program. Prior sanctions targeted specific subsidiaries of the organization.

Iranian Senior Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri also criticized the sanctions.

“Americans think their list is more effective if it is longer,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Jahangiri as saying.

He said that he had discussed the list with other officials, with many saying that it was “less than what we expected.”

Still, Jahangiri said that “Americans intend to damage economy of the country” through psychological warfare.

Zarif later issued an online video criticizing the US’ “indiscriminate assault” on his country.

“The US administration appears to believe that imposing illegal draconian sanctions on Iran will bring about such pain to our nation that it will force us to submit to its will, no matter how absurd, unlawful or fundamentally flawed its demands are,” he said.

Zarif said that the US should re-examine its “catastrophes” in the Mideast, including its support for Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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