Iran threatens retaliation if US renews sanctions

In remarks to commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a 10-year renewal of US sanctions on Tehran's energy, banking and defense sectors, which the House approved this month, would violate the nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers last year. Just days after Trump was elected, EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who led the group of countries in negotiations with Iran, said it is in European interest and United Nations interest to "guarantee that the agreement is implemented in full". He did not elaborate on the reaction.

Khamenei said the U.S. has so far committed several violations regarding the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action aka nuclear deal), including the latest extension of sanctions against Iran for 10 years.

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday pressed President Barack Obama to refrain from increasing economic ties with Iran before he leaves office in January.

Under the nuclear deal, which took effect in January, Iran agreed to put curbs on its disputed nuclear program in exchange for relief from crippling economic sanctions imposed by the US, the European Union and the United Nations.

This was the second time since the nuclear deal was signed that Iran was found to have exceeded the heavy water limit - in February, Iran had 130.9 tons of the material.

In exchange, the worldwide community pledged to lift economic sanctions. They hate the deal, they want to be president in 2021 and they're itching to distinguish themselves from Trump.

"I do not anticipate any actions being taken ... exclusively in response to Mr. Trump's victory", said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

Last week, the US House of Representatives reviewed the sanctions and suggested an extension for another 10 years. But some Democratic senators who originally supported the deal have shifted their stances as well. He could try to renegotiate certain provisions, which could drive the Iranians away in exasperation (Ayatollah Khamenei has said if Trump tries to tear it up, Iran will "set fire to it", presumably while it's inside an embassy).

Washington believed that the law will violate the nuclear pact.

It gives Mr. Obama broad sway to impose or waive sanctions in response to Iranian behavior.

First, the Iranians have already accrued the majority of their benefits from the JCPOA- namely nuclear sanctions relief-up front.

That same month, a group of 75 national security leaders released a letter to Mr. Obama that extolled the deal's accomplishments and called for using the deal to expand engagement with Iran.

David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security, told TWS that the underreporting was the IAEA's decision, and that the Trump administration should seek to restore the scope of the agency's reporting.

Last week, 76 U.S. national-security experts from all sides of the political spectrum, urged Trump to keep the Iran deal.

"We all froze", said Amir Rostambeigi, founder and managing director of tourism operator Tooran, who was on a business trip to a Caspian Sea resort in northern Iran when he heard the election result.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would potentially invalidate the sale of commercial aircraft manufactured by both Airbus and Boeing to Iran.

Critics counter that concessions in the deal, including allowing the regime to keep much of its nuclear infrastructure intact, could facilitate Iran becoming a nuclear threshold state once JCPOA sunset provisions expire, after 10-15 years.



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