Iran Can Retaliate If US Renews Sanctions

Iran Can Retaliate If US Renews Sanctions
Iran Can Retaliate If US Renews Sanctions

Iran keeps the right to strike back if the United States does not continue to suspend the sanctions against Iran, the spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.

"We are committed to our obligations and we are going to fulfill all our responsibilities," Behrouz Kamalvandi said, stressing that the nuclear deal had secured Iran's benefits and the United States should respect its pertinent obligations.

However, if there are any signs of infringement of the deal, Iran will consider its own options, he said.

The landmark nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a multilateral document which was achieved in July 2015 after months of diplomatic efforts by Iran and major powers and was approved by the UN Security Council.

The deal resulted in the removal of international and western financial and economic sanctions against Iran and imposed more restrictions on its nuclear program.

For instance, "if by Jan. 14 next year, they are not going to [renew sanctions waivers against Iran], it means that they have exited the deal. So, naturally, it is the right of us to do whatever is needed and to retaliate," Kamalvandi noted.

US President Donald Trump said in October that the United States could not formally certify Iran's compliance with the nuclear accord. The US Congress is expected to decide whether to restore sanctions against Iran.

Washington has also demanded inspections of Iran's military sites, which Tehran has rejected.

"So far, the United States has tried to put pressure" on Iran, the nuclear official said, adding that the US has not respected some articles of the JCPOA, which recognize Iran's right to enjoy business incentives under the deal.

  Two-Way Process

The US has tried a number of ways to prevent Iran from the benefits of the deal, Kamalvandi said, stressing that "the accord is not just about limitations [on Iran's nuclear activities], it is also about modernization and development" of peaceful nuclear energy program in Iran.

Iran's top officials have warned the United States of the repercussions of scrapping the nuclear deal by reimposing sanctions against the Islamic Republic, underlining Tehran's capability to restore its nuclear activities to pre-deal levels.

Over the past months, the US administration has imposed sanctions on some individuals and companies accused of cooperating with Tehran over its ballistic missile program.

"We expect the other side also to respect its commitments," Kamalvandi said. "Something is very clear for us: as long as the other side continues to observe their responsibilities and commitments, we will, of course, respect this deal."

Kamalvandi expressed hope that "we think there are still room for preservation of the deal since the majority of countries supports it."


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