New Sanctions Cast Doubt on US Seriousness in Restoring Nuclear Deal

New Sanctions Cast Doubt on US Seriousness in Restoring Nuclear Deal
New Sanctions Cast Doubt on US Seriousness in Restoring Nuclear Deal

The United States’ imposition of fresh sanctions on Iran amid negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal raises doubts about its seriousness to rejoin the agreement, an Iranian senior diplomat said. 
“Doubling down on sanctions won’t create leverage—and is anything but seriousness & goodwill,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter. 
Washington on Tuesday imposed sanctions on several people and entities in Iran, accusing them of being connected to serious human rights abuses and repressive acts.
The Treasury Department designated the Special Units of Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces and Counter-Terror Special Forces, as well as several of their officials, and Gholamreza Soleimani, who commands Iran’s Basij voluntary force. Two prisons and a prison director were also blacklisted over events that purportedly took place in them.  
The sanctions come while the two arch-foes are engaged in indirect talks in Vienna, Austria, to work out how they can resume compliance with the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has been unravelling since Washington pulled out and reimposed sanctions that prompted Tehran to row back on its commitments.
“Even amid #ViennaTalks, US cannot stop imposing sanctions against Iran,” Khatibzadeh said. “Washington fails to understand that ‘maximum failure’ & a diplomatic breakthrough are mutually exclusive.”  
Iran maintains that the US so-called “maximum pressure campaign” has failed and will continue to be futile, and to restore the JCPOA to its original shape, it must now lift all its sanctions at once before Iran reverses its countermeasures.
Russia’s negotiator also criticized the US for the new bans, but also mentioned Iran’s continued development of its nuclear program alongside.  
“Not good. It is high time to stop it in order to create better environment for speedy and successful restoration of #JCPOA,” Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted. 

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