Western Sanctions Threatening Nuclear Deal

Western Sanctions Threatening Nuclear Deal Western Sanctions Threatening Nuclear Deal

Iran's parliament speaker warned that US attempts to use non-nuclear issues as a pretext to retain sanctions that ought to be removed as stipulated in last July's nuclear deal, could force Iran to suspend the historic agreement.

Ali Larijani said hostile western governments are seeking to create new excuses to maintain pressure on Iran after the pact came into effect in January to grant Tehran sanctions relief in return for curbing its nuclear program.

It was negotiated with the major powers, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany, to end a 12-year dispute over Iran's nuclear activities.

"As we have said before, the nuclear issue can be fully resolved if the westerners put an end to the sanctions. If not, we will pull out of the nuclear deal," Larijani warned in a speech at a religious center in Tehran on Thursday.

"I see no signs of change in the West's policy toward Iran… They are not trying to recreate the nuclear dispute but are apparently attempting to hinder the lifting of the sanctions."

The speaker opined, "They have turned to a new strategy to keep the economic pressure in place and introduce new sanctions under the pretext of the Islamic Republic's [alleged] backing for terrorism," he was quoted by ICANA as saying.

In December, the US Congress voted to impose sanctions on banks that deal with Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese resistance movement Washington has labeled a "terrorist group" since 1995 over allegations of terror attacks.

Lebanon's central bank has instructed the country's banks and financial institutions to comply with the new measure.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said earlier this month his group would not be affected by fresh US sanctions because it receives its money directly from Iran, not via Lebanese banks.

His remarks came amid Iran's grievances that residual US sanctions have impeded its access to full benefits of the nuclear accord.

Overseas firms and investors have steered clear of Iran's market on fears of falling foul of US restrictions that ban the use of the US dollar and financial system to clear transactions involving Iranian parties.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz has said Iran's alleged continued support for "terrorism" would keep shutting the country out of the global markets.

"They [the Americans] are not inane not to realize that Hezbollah is an anti-terror movement. They have blacklisted the group to intensify pressure on the Islamic Republic," Larijani added.