Iran Underlines Need to Confront US Anti-JCPOA Moves

Iran Underlines Need to Confront US Anti-JCPOA MovesIran Underlines Need to Confront US Anti-JCPOA Moves

Iran's parliament speaker has urged its atomic energy organization to begin to consider ramping up nuclear enrichment in response to the US measures against last year's nuclear deal.

"The Majlis … warns the US administration, House of Representatives and Senate that their hostile moves to obstruct the JCPOA implementation have pushed Iran to the point that it is left with no option but to respond," he told an open session of parliament on Wednesday.

Larijani used an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official title of the pact, IRNA reported.

It was negotiated with the six major powers, including the US, and went into force in mid-January to give Iran sanctions relief in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

"It is necessary that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran prepare a plan to launch nuclear plants and enrich uranium to the required [purity] levels and report to Majlis about it," he said.

Reuters reported earlier this month that in a confidential report UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had assessed Iran's missile tests conducted after the announcement of the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 as inconsistent "with the constructive spirit" of the action plan.

Iranian officials have criticized the report as unrealistic, unbalanced and biased.

Ban's report said Iran complained that it had yet to fully benefit from the lifting of sanctions, raising concerns about US travel restrictions and the confiscation of Iranian Central Bank assets under a US court order.

The US objected, claiming that the world body has gone "beyond the appropriate scope" to include Tehran's grievances in the report.

"While some have argued that to be balanced, the report should give Iran a chance to express complaints about sanctions relief under the deal," the UN Security Council did not mandate Ban to report on such issues, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told the council on Monday.

Iran has expressed frustration that international investors and banks have been frightened off by residual US restrictions, which involve a ban on access to the US financial system and the use of dollar in Iran-linked transactions.

***Blatant Violation

Larijani criticized Ban for not condemning anti-Iran measures by the US Congress, which run against the JCPOA "spirit".

Addressing Ban, he said, "The three recent measures passed by the House are such a blatant violation of the JCPOA that they have even sparked a protest from White House officials. Why are you silent about this? Was the US Congress visa bill not against the JCPOA spirit? Why didn't you include it in the report?"

The US Congress passed new amendments to the visa law late last year, preventing visa-free travel to the United States for people who have visited Iran or hold Iranian nationality.

In another related development, the House passed three measures last week, one to impose new sanctions on Iran over alleged sponsorship of terrorism or human rights violations, another to bar the US purchase of Iran's heavy water supplies and the third to block the Islamic Republic's access to the US financial system.