FM: Extension of Sanctions Indicates US Unreliability

The US Congress’ vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act has no executive value even if the legislation is signed by the US president
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to reporters in New Delhi, India, on Dec. 3.Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to reporters in New Delhi, India, on Dec. 3.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said extension of anti-Iran sanctions by the US Congress will have n.utive effect", but indicates the US government's unreliability.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival in New Delhi on Saturday, Zarif referred to the US Senate's Thursday vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act and said the legislation has no executive value, ISNA reported.

"What was done at the Senate, even if it is signed by the US president, has no executive effect and from the standpoint of the international community, it shows the lack of credibility of the US government, which acts against its own commitments," Zarif said.

The US Senate on Thursday voted to extend ISA that dates back to the 1990s and authorizes the US president to potentially impose sanctions on US entities that do business with Iran. The US House of Representatives had also voted to extend the legislation last month.

The law was originally introduced on the unfounded grounds that Iran was pursuing a non-civilian nuclear program.

However, the two countries, along with five other states and the European Union, ended a decades-long dispute over the Iranian nuclear program when they reached a nuclear deal back in July 2015.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, stipulates that all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran be lifted and no new nuclear-related sanctions be imposed as long as Iran fulfills a range of commitments, including curbing its nuclear program and facilitating the access of international monitors to Iranian nuclear facilities.

Numerous reports by the US administration and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been tasked with monitoring the technical implementation of JCPOA, have confirmed Iranian compliance.

The vote for ISA extension at the US Congress, however, renewed speculation that new sanctions were to be imposed.

The White House's Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Friday he "would expect" US President Barack Obama to sign ISA.

Inside the legislation, Schultz added, "it includes a provision to allow the secretary of state to waive relevant nuclear-related sanctions."

The authorization of more sanctions is, however, a clear violation of the spirit of the Iran deal.

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned last month that Iran would consider the extension of ISA a breach of JCPOA and would respond accordingly.

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