MPs Censure US Congress for Anti-Iran Bills

MPs Censure US Congress for Anti-Iran BillsMPs Censure US Congress for Anti-Iran Bills

A parliamentary statement signed by over 220 lawmakers denounced the US Congress' recent moves to renew the Iran Sanctions Act and block aircraft sales to the Islamic Republic. 

The statement, read out at the open session of the 290-member assembly on Tuesday, called on the government to respond, which lawmakers believe are inconsistent with the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, Fars News Agency reported.

"We, lawmakers, are closely monitoring the moves of the US Congress and House of Representatives and urge the government to act on the Majlis bill related to the JCPOA and take serious reciprocal measures," the statement said.

JCPOA stands for the formal name of the pact, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It was clinched between Iran and P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) in July 2015 and was put into force six months later to scale back Tehran's nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

The statement was referring to a nine-article bill entitled "The Iranian Government's Reciprocal Action on Implementation of JCPOA" that was passed in parliament on October 4, 2015.

US Republican lawmakers, who control the House of Representatives and Senate and unanimously opposed the historic agreement, introduced several anti-Iran measures to interfere with its implementation.

The House passed a bill last week renewing sanctions on Iran for another decade. It voted 419 to one to reauthorize the ISA, a law first adopted in 1996 to target Iran over its nuclear activities.

The Iran measure would have expired at the end of 2016, if it were not renewed.

It must still be approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama to become law.

Two days later, the House passed another measure that would block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, a bid to stop sales by Boeing and Airbus that have already been licensed by Obama's outgoing administration.

Obama has promised to veto the bill, arguing it would undermine the international deal.

The votes took place days after Republican Donald Trump, who strongly opposes the JCPOA and has vowed to renegotiate it, was elected US president.

Breach of JCPOA Spirit 

The US measures have drawn sharp criticism from Iranian officials.

A top advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution on international affairs denounced the Congress decision to extend the ISA as a breach of the deal's spirit.

"Any move amounting to keeping Iran under sanctions is a violation of JCPOA's spirit," Ali Akbar Velayati said in an interview with ISNA on Tuesday.

The deal has committed all parties to implement it "in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere, based on mutual respect, and to refrain from any action inconsistent with [its] letter, spirit and intent that would undermine its successful implementation."

Velayati reiterated a warning that any US violation of the terms of the pact would receive an appropriate response from the Islamic Republic.

"If the Americans continue this approach, they would definitely be viewed as harming the JCPOA and Iran reserves response options," he said.

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