Iran may quit N deal, if US slaps new sanctions

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 15 Aug 2017, 21:25:35

Iran may quit N deal, if US slaps new sanctions

TEHRAN, Aug 15 (Agencies): Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani has threatened to quit the 2015 nuclear deal "within hours" if the United States continues to impose new sanctions on the country.

Rouhani issued the warning in a televised speech to Iran's parliament Tuesday, kicking off a vote-of-confidence session for nominated ministers of his second-term cabinet.

"Iran could quit the nuclear deal within hours if the US imposes more sanctions," Rouhani said, according to Iran's state-run Press TV.

"Iran has remained and will remain committed to the deal, though any breach of promise by other parties will receive appropriate responses," he added, according to Iran's semi-official MEHR news agency.

He also suggested the US was an unreliable partner, according to MEHR, citing the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and new restrictions imposed by the US on Cuba.

Foad Azadi, a specialist in US-Iranian relations at the University of Tehran, told Al Jazeera the US sanctions had made it harder for Rouhani to counter those in the Iranian parliament who opposed the nuclear deal.

"We've had in previous years attempts to reduce tensions and resolve problems and basically each time the US was not interested," Azadi said.

"What the Trump administration is doing is trying to fulfill the promise that President Trump made during the [election] campaign, which is to tear apart the nuclear agreement.

"The actions of the US Congress and the signing of the new law is not making President Rouhani a happy man."

Rouhani was a key architect of the 2015 nuclear agreement with the United States, the European Union and other partners.

The deal led to the lifting of most international sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Last month, the US announced new sanctions against entities and individuals with ties to Iran, a day after certifying that the Iranian government was in compliance with the nuclear agreement.

In response, Iran's parliament passed a bill Sunday outlining plans to "counter US terrorist measures in the region," according to Iran's state-run Press TV.

The US has accused Iran of stoking chaos in the Middle East and condemned the country's support for US-designated terrorist groups, militias and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran's malign activities across the Middle East, which undermine regional stability, security and prosperity," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement in July.
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