New Missile Sanctions Would Violate Nuclear Deal

New Missile Sanctions Would Violate Nuclear Deal New Missile Sanctions Would Violate Nuclear Deal

The imposition of any new UN sanctions would be an infringement of the July 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and would result in Iran abandoning its deal commitments, a lawmaker warned.

The accord was negotiated between Iran and P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany) and took effect on Jan. 16 to grant Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs for specified durations on its nuclear program.

A UN resolution adopted in line with the agreement, formally entitled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on July 20 "called upon" Iran to refrain for up to eight years from any activity related to ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps test-fired several ballistic missiles last month, drawing condemnation from western leaders who believe the tests violate the resolution and are considering fresh sanctions on Tehran.

"If western countries make such a mistake, under the deal, Iran can reciprocate and stop complying with the deal," Avaz Heydarpour said in an interview with ICANA on Tuesday.

"The JCPOA explicitly states that Iran's missile activities are not a violation of the deal and Resolution 2231 does not bar the Islamic Republic from conducting missile tests. This resolution has only banned the design of missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads."

Tehran argues that the missile-related annexes to the resolution are not part of the action plan and makes them non-binding, while denying ever seeking to develop nuclear-capable missiles.

The deal says, "Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part."

  Hostile Approach

In a joint letter to Spain's UN Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi and UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the United States and its European allies have claimed that Iran's March ballistic tests involved "inherently" nuclear-capable missiles and were "inconsistent with" and "in defiance of" the resolution, calling for "appropriate responses" by the UN Security Council.

Spain has been tasked with coordinating council discussions on Resolution 2231.

"The moves by western states, namely the US, Britain, France and Germany, over the past few weeks, including the sending of the letter to the UN Security Council, are evidence of their hostile approach toward Iran," Heydarpour said.

Iranian officials have repeatedly said the missiles are solely for defensive use as a conventional deterrent.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no effort to boost its defensive capabilities, and smear campaigns mounted by certain countries will not affect the development of Iran's [missile program]," he added.