US House Anti-Iran Moves Downplayed

US House Anti-Iran Moves DownplayedUS House Anti-Iran Moves Downplayed

Anti-Iran measures adopted by the US House of Representatives are not a breach of the 2015 nuclear deal because they have yet to pass the Senate and get a presidential approval to become binding, Iran’s foreign minister said.

“The House bills do not violate the JCPOA without being approved by the Senate,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told ICANA on Tuesday, using an abbreviation that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the accord.

“They have not yet been passed by the Senate. In fact, they are mainly meant as part of anti-Iran propaganda.”

Zarif was apparently responding to JCPOA’s domestic opponents who have seized upon a recent measure by the House preventing cash payments to Iran to ramp up criticism of the action plan, a signature achievement of President Hassan Rouhani. It would require the US Congress to be notified before any future claims settlements with Tehran are conducted.

Iran acceded to temporary curbs on its nuclear program under the pact on the expectation that crippling international sanctions would end and clear the path for Iran’s reentry into global markets.

The bill was the latest of repeated attempts by hawkish Republican legislators to undermine the JCPOA, which went into force in January to end sanctions against Tehran in return for curbing its nuclear work. Adding to Iran’s grievances, foreign investors and bankers have held back from the Iranian economy, citing the remaining non-nuclear US restrictions and as a result, few deals have gone through since the JCPOA took effect in January.

“We will not tolerate the US non-compliance and will act against its violations of the action plan, just as we have done so far,” Zarif declared. The US approach has drawn serious complaints from the Islamic Republic, which is pressuring Washington to do more to ease international concerns about entering the Iranian market.

President Hassan Rouhani in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 22 criticized the United States for its “lack of compliance” with the deal. Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned on Sept. 26 that the agreement could be jeopardized by the US foot-dragging on the pledge of sanctions relief.


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