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    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016

    Iran Promises 'Prompt Response' if US Sanctions Are Extended

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    Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said December 4 that his American counterpart Barack Obama should not sign an extension of US sanctions against Tehran, because it would be a violation of the Iran nuclear deal.

    On December 1, US senators unanimously voted for the extension of what the US considers non-nuclear-related sanctions on Iran for 10 more years. The bill, which will expire December 31 if not signed, was sent to Obama.

    According to Rouhani, Obama is "obliged" to let the sanctions expire. "We are committed to an acceptable implementation of the deal but in response to noncommitment, violation or hesitation in its implementation, we will act promptly," he reportedly said.

    While the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers implies the limitation of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions by other sides, the US has long imposed its own set of sanctions on Iran. Whether these should be considered part of the deal is suddenly a contentious issue.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said the bill is a clear violation of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.

    "The US president has agreed within the framework of the nuclear deal that he would use his authority to prevent the legislation and enforcement of any measures in violation of the deal, such as the recent act by the Congress," he noted.

    Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said December 2 that Iran would suspend the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on its nuclear program in case US sanctions are extended.

    "If they [the US] return to sanctions, we will not remain committed to the agreement," Zarif said as quoted by Press TV broadcaster.

    He said the extension of the sanctions would contradict US obligations under international law regarding noninterference in other countries' internal and international relations," according to the Tasnim news agency.

    Last year, Iran signed a landmark deal with Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany, agreeing to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

    Earlier this year, President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi, said violation of the agreement by any of the sides would give Iran green light to begin enriching uranium at an even higher capacity within 45 days.

    "In a month and a half we can increase our centrifuges and [nuclear] material," Salehi's deputy Behrouz Kamalvandi said, according to the Mehr news agency.

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    Tags:
    Iran Nuclear Deal, US sanctions, Bahram Ghasemi, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Hassan Rouhani, Ali Akbar Salehi, Barack Obama, Iran, United States
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