Tehran Pledges Prudent, Measured Response to US Sanctions

Tehran Pledges Prudent, Measured Response to US SanctionsTehran Pledges Prudent, Measured Response to US Sanctions

Iran vowed a measured response in due course to the new sanctions under a contentious congressional bill that was signed into law by US President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to respond to the US administration's anti-Iran moves. It will act with patience and prudence to provide a response in due course in line with Iran's national and security interests," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Thursday.

He said the US sanctions move that has breached the 2015 nuclear deal would not go unanswered, IRNA reported.

"The Majlis and government would soon announce a series of countermeasures," he added.

Despite Trump's hawkish line against Iran and the nuclear agreement, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, he signed the measure into law grudgingly because the sanctions package, which also affected Russia and North Korea, has stymied his efforts at warmer relations with Moscow.

Nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the fresh sanctions would face the Islamic Republic's "appropriate and proportionate" response.

"We believe the nuclear agreement has been violated and we will show an appropriate and proportionate reaction to the issue," Araqchi told state television.

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Tuesday Iran would complain to the Joint Commission, a panel of representatives from the seven parties to the nuclear accord, assigned to oversee it and handle any complaint over its implementation.

The landmark pact was negotiated between Iran and major powers (the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany) to ease nuclear sanctions in exchange for curtailing Tehran's nuclear work.

The new sanctions target Iran for its missile activities and alleged human rights abuses, terrorism sponsorship and arms shipments.

"The US main goal in approving these sanctions against Iran is to destroy the nuclear deal and we will give a very wise response to this action," Araqchi said.

"Certainly we will not act in a way that gets us entangled in the politics of the US government and Trump."

Araqchi expressed confidence that European signatories to the nuclear agreement would not let Trump dismantle the deal.

"The contract that Total signed with Iran sent a message from Europe to the Americans that they will continue their economic ties with Iran under any circumstances," he said.

In a strong sign of enhanced trade between Iran and Europe, France's Total signed a contract with Tehran early last month to develop Phase 11 of Iran's South Pars, the world's largest gas field, marking the first major western energy investment in Iran after it shook off years of economic sanctions.

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