NEW YORK: Iran warned US that extending sanctions for 10 years would breach the Iranian nuclear agreement. The warning came from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Wednesday, who said that Tehran would retaliate if the sanctions are approved, news media here reported.
The deal was reached last year between five permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, China, Russia, UK and France), plus German. But the US president-elect Donald Trump said he would “tear up the treaty.
The US House of Representatives re-authorised last week the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years. The law was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy industry and deter Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
The Iran measure will expire at the end of 2016 if it is not renewed. The House bill must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama to become a law. Iran and world powers concluded the nuclear agreement, also known as JCPOA, last year. It imposed curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in return for easing sanctions that have badly hurt its economy.
“The current US government has breached the nuclear deal in many occasions,” Khamenei said, addressing a gathering of members of the Revolutionary Guards, according to his website. “The latest is extension of sanctions for 10 years, that if it happens, would surely be against JCPOA, and the Islamic Republic would definitely react to it.”
The US lawmakers passed the bill one week after Trump was elected US president. Republicans in Congress unanimously opposed the agreement, along with about two dozen Democrats, and Trump has also criticised it. Lawmakers from both parties said they hoped bipartisan support for a tough line against Iran would continue under the new president.