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New Iran, Russia Sanctions a Disgrace for US

New Iran, Russia Sanctions a Disgrace for USNew Iran, Russia Sanctions a Disgrace for US

In a recent interview with Sputnik, Iranian political commentator and expert on nuclear issues Hassan Beheshtipour shared his thoughts on the consequences of the new sanctions.

If finally approved, the initiative would be a “disgrace for the US” and will have rather negative consequences, Beheshtipour said.

“This move may lead to the isolation of the US in the international arena. Washington has violated many deals and agreements. But the US cannot simply tear up the nuclear deal because there will be a tough response from Iran.”

Beheshtipour suggested that close cooperation between Russia and Iran would offset the effect of the proposed sanctions.

Last week, the US Senate voted in favor of new sanctions against Russia over its alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016 and against Iran over its missile launches and regional activities. 

The new sanctions include additional punitive measures against Russia’s defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railroad industries and restrict dealings with the country’s banks and energy companies.

If passed in the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Donald Trump, the bill would impose new mandatory sanctions against persons and entities involved in Tehran’s ballistic missile program and sanctions against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

It also mandated that the US president block assets of any person or company involved in the supply or transfer of “illegal” arms to or from Iran.

  Move to Undermine JCPOA 

The new restrictions contradict the principles of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official title of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers) and prove that Washington’s actions are aimed at undermining international cooperation, he said.

“The final deal on Iran’s nuclear program says Iran must fulfill its obligations under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Hence no sanctions and restrictions are presumed. The signatories should advance toward cooperation, but the US Senate wants to undermine those efforts,” Beheshtipour said.

The expert explained, “The majority of Republicans want sanctions against Iran while sanctions against Russia have been promoted by the majority of Democrats. The Republicans wanted to win support from Democrats and this is why they included anti-Russian sanctions into the bill on restrictions against Iran.”

  Seeking Flexibility

Despite the fact that the Trump administration supports sanctions against Russia, they are concerned that the new bill will tie their hands in rebuilding ties with Moscow, Politico reported, citing a senior administrational official.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a House Foreign Affairs hearing, “I would urge Congress to ensure any legislation allows the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions.”

Earlier, he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “We would like the flexibility to turn the heat up on Russia,” he said. “We have some channels where we’re starting to talk, but what I wouldn’t want to do is close the channels off.”

Commenting on the new sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said they are counterproductive for bilateral ties.

“It will, of course, complicate Russian-US relations. I think that it is harmful.” 

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