Top Panel Mulls Over Response to US Sanctions

Iran’s JCPOA oversight body agreed on a response to new US sanctions, whose details are to be communicated to relevant organizations, including the Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
Top Panel Mulls Over Response to US SanctionsTop Panel Mulls Over Response to US Sanctions

A high-level committee that oversees the 2015 nuclear deal convened on Monday evening to decide how to respond to a new sanctions bill passed by the US Congress.

The US Senate voted decisively last week to approve the sanctions as part of a broader measure that also targets Russia and North Korea.

Before passing the senate, “The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act”, as the motion is formally known, had become a bone of contention between the two chambers of Congress.

The bill in its current controversial form originated in the House of Representatives and its fate is now subject to US President Donald Trump’s decision whether to sign it into law.

The response agreed in the Monday session of the Iranian panel came in a 16-point document that, IRNA said, would be notified to related organizations, such as the Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, by President Hassan Rouhani, who chairs the oversight body’s meetings.

Participants reaffirmed Iran’s stance that the US legislation is a breach of articles 26, 28 and 29 of the nuclear accord, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

It was negotiated with P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) to scale down Tehran’s nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions.

Article 26 calls on the United States to “make best efforts in good faith to sustain JCPOA and to prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting.”

Article 28 commits P5+1 to “take all measures required to lift sanctions and refrain from imposing exceptional or discriminatory regulatory and procedural requirements in lieu of the sanctions and restrictive measures covered by JCPOA.”

Article 29 says, “The EU and its member states and the United States, consistent with their respective laws, will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of JCPOA.”

 Parliamentary Action

In related development, the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission will convene its second extraordinary meeting on Wednesday to consider an anti-American bill to confront “adventurist and terrorist” US actions in the Middle East, Kamal Dehqani, a member of the commission, said.

The Congress bill cleared both the senate and house with veto-proof majorities and the White House has said in a statement that it would be approved by Trump.

Trump had raised an objection over a provision in the sanctions package that blocks the president’s ability to waive sanctions on Russia unless with the congressional approval.

The measure imposes mandatory penalties on people who contribute to Iran’s ballistic missile program and their business partners.

The sanctions would also apply to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on alleged charges of bankrolling terrorists. It would also penalize Iran for alleged human rights abuses and enforce an arms embargo.

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