Tehran Complains to UN Over Renewal of US Bans

Iran’s envoy to the UN has warned the US about the negative repercussions and detrimental effects of the ISA extension 
Gholamali KhoshrouGholamali Khoshrou
The JCPOA committee convened on Wednesday to decide how to respond to the Congress move

Iran's mission to the UN, in a letter to the world body's outgoing chief, Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday, complained about a US Congress bill that is expected to win presidential approval to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for a third decade.

Congress has voted almost unanimously to extend the 20-year-old ISA that has been in effect since 1996 and will expire on Dec. 31, if not renewed, IRNA reported.

In the letter, Iran's envoy to the UN, Gholamali Khoshrou, echoed the stance of top Iranian statesmen, including Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, who have railed against the ISA renewal, denouncing it as a violation of the 2015 nuclear deal and stressing that its reimposition would prompt retaliation from the Islamic Republic.

The historic agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was clinched between the Islamic Republic and the United States and five other powers and went into force in January to grant Iran sanctions relief in return for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.

"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran believes the US Congress' recent legislation to extend the ISA until the end of 2026 goes against the US obligations under the action plan," the letter said.

It highlighted the JCPOA provision that bans the United States from violating the intent, text or spirit of the agreement by renewing or reimposing sanctions against Iran.

The deal has committed the two sides to implement it "in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere, based on mutual respect, and to refrain from any action inconsistent with the letter, spirit and intent of this JCPOA that would undermine its successful implementation".

"The US administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the president and the congress, will refrain from reintroducing or reimposing the sanctions … it has ceased applying under this JCPOA. Iran has stated that it will treat such a reintroduction or reimposition of the sanctions … or such an imposition of new nuclear-related sanctions, as grounds to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA in whole or in part," the UN-endorsed JCPOA says.

Khoshrou warned the US about the "negative repercussions" and "detrimental effects" of the ISA extension.

The letter called on Ban to demand that all parties to the pact, particularly the US, honor their commitments.

***Mulling Response

The committee tasked with monitoring the commitments of the other side to the nuclear deal convened on Wednesday to decide how to respond to the Congress move.

Details of the decisions made during the meeting were not released.

Rouhani, who chairs the committee, reiterated a call on his US counterpart on Tuesday to avoid approving the extension.

"Even if the US president signs the measure and then suspends its enforcement, we will consider it a breach of the JCPOA and will respond to it," he said.

Other members of the panel include Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution on international affairs, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.


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