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Ali Shamkhani
Ali Shamkhani

Iran Won’t Walk Into Anti-JCPOA US Trap

The US is seeking to make Iran exit JCPOA, but Iran will deny it the chance to do so

Iran Won’t Walk Into Anti-JCPOA US Trap

Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said Iran will remain vigilant to frustrate the US attempts aimed at scuttling the 2015 nuclear deal and pinning the blame on Iran.

"America is seeking to make Iran exit the JCPOA, but we will deny it the chance to do so," Shamkhani said in a talk with the Persian daily Hamshahri published on Wednesday, using an abbreviation for the landmark agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"This does not mean that we will retain the action plan at any cost," he said.

The six powers agreed under the landmark pact to ease sanctions against Iran in return for temporary constraints on its nuclear program.

US President Donald Trump has slammed the accord, negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, as "the worst deal ever" and once even vowed to tear it up while running for the 2016 election.

He later backtracked on that promise in the face of objections from his own campaign team and other signatories to the accord.

The beleaguered Republican has been pushing for a full review of the pact ever since. He has adopted a harsh tone and seeks to tighten the screws on the Islamic Republic.

In its latest antagonistic move, the US administration added six Iranian entities to its list of sanctions last week over Tehran's test of a rocket capable of putting satellites into orbit.

Iran is also the target of a sanctions package that has made its way through the US Congress and up to Trump's desk to be signed into law.

The sanctions are meant to curtail Tehran's missile development and punish it for alleged terrorism sponsorship and human rights abuses.

***No Compromise on Defense  

Shamkhani reaffirmed the Islamic Republic's stance that it would never compromise on its defense capabilities by scaling down its "conventional" missile program and regional role.

"Iran's defensive power has served as a deterrent against many threats and we will continue to design and manufacture conventional defense weapons required to confront any threat within the framework of our defensive doctrine," he said.

Shamkhani is a member of a high-powered committee of national security officials, which oversees the 2015 nuclear deal.

The panel convened on Monday evening to consider a response to the Congress motion.

President Hassan Rouhani, who chaired the meeting, is expected to notify the Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and other related organizations of the agreed response that comes in a 16-point document.

In a related development, Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission was to meet on Wednesday for the second time to consider an anti-American bill crafted to confront "adventurist and terrorist" US actions in the region.

The Congress bill passed both the senate and house with veto-proof majorities and the White House has stated that Trump would approve it.

 

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