Iran Weighing Further Response to ISA Renewal

Iran Weighing Further Response to ISA RenewalIran Weighing Further Response to ISA Renewal

A top advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution said Iran's response to the US Congress bill to extend the Iran Sanctions Act will not be limited to a presidential directive to build nuclear-powered marine vessels and it also intends to use its other options.

Rouhani, in separate letters to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, on Tuesday, issued directives on how to respond to the Congress bill, which is expected to gain the presidential approval to become law.

Based on the directives, Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has been charged with designing and developing nuclear marine propulsion systems and the fuel to power such systems for use in marine transportation.

"The president's order was only Iran's first measure as part of a proper response to the renewal of the US sanctions [act] and certainly will not be the last," IRNA quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as telling reporters in Tehran on Wednesday.

He did not elaborate what other measures the Islamic Republic might take.

Rouhani's directive followed his warning on Dec. 6 that even if the US president signs the measure and then suspends its enforcement, it will face a reciprocal response from the Islamic Republic.

ISA was first adopted in 1996 to target Iran's energy sector and will expire at the end of this month, if not renewed.

The presidential instructions also require Zarif to exploit the mechanism envisaged in the historic accord to address any breach committed by any party and report to Rouhani monthly.

Zarif answered lawmakers' questions on ISA at a hearing of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission on Tuesday.

He told ICANA after the hearing that Iran will raise its grievances in the next meeting of the Joint Commission, a panel of representatives from all the deal's parties assigned to monitor it and address issues arising from its implementation.

Under the deal, Iran can take its grievances to the Joint Commission and if the issue is still unresolved, to foreign ministers of the parties to the accord and finally to an advisory board, which would consist of three members, one independent and the other two appointed by each of the participants in the dispute.

If the issue still has not been resolved and Iran deems it to constitute a breach of the nuclear deal, it could treat it as grounds to cease performing its commitments in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes a significant non-performance.


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