MPs Confident US Will Extend Sanctions Waivers

Under current conditions wherein the US intends to create economic problems for Iran, it is necessary to boost the domestic economy by removing obstacles to business and investment
Hossein Naqavi HosseiniHossein Naqavi Hosseini

Lawmakers expressed confidence that US President Donald Trump will extend Iran's nuclear sanctions waivers in his highly-anticipated decision due by mid-January, but will continue to target Iran with sanctions over non-nuclear pretexts.

"Trump will definitely renew the suspension of nuclear sanctions because they [the Americans] have other sanctions measures on the agenda that could create as much problem for Iran as the nuclear sanctions," Hossein Naqavi Hosseini said in a Monday talk with ICANA.

Under a nuclear deal reached with the six powers in July 2015, the US ceased the application of its sanctions and the UN and EU terminated theirs in return for time-bound curbs on Tehran's nuclear work.

The landmark agreement, however, is facing Trump's bellicose criticism, who has blamed his predecessor Barack Obama for failing to obtain enough concessions during the nuclear talks with Iran.

He announced on Oct. 13 that he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the accord, giving the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose Iran sanctions.

But the Dec. 12 deadline passed without legislative action. That made Trump's mid-January decision critical to the deal's fate because revoking the waivers could effectively kill the hard-fought accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

  Need for Resilient Economy  

Another parliamentarian, Abolfazl Aboutorabi, called for measures to boost the domestic economy in the face of the US policy of imposing economic pressure and sanctions.

"Under the current conditions wherein the US intends to create economic problems for the country, we need to boost the domestic economy by removing obstacles [to business and investment]," Aboutorabi said.

"Certainly, the enemy will try to increase economic pressure beyond the scope of JCPOA."

The hawkish Republican is under pressure from the UN, EU and other parties to the action plan to uphold it while his desperate attempts to rally support for a renegotiation of the deal have faced a rebuff.

Trump has raised concerns over Iran's growing missile program, regional power and other non-nuclear issues to justify several sanctions measures against the Islamic Republic since he took office in January.

Most notable among such sanctions were those included in the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act", signed by Trump on Aug. 2 after being overwhelmingly approved by the congress.

The law imposed fresh sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea over Iran's ballistic missiles program, North Korea's nuclear weapons development and alleged efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 US election.

It also targeted Iran for alleged human rights abuses, terrorism sponsorship and arms shipments, and added to the sanctions already imposed by the US on the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and its unit responsible for foreign operations, the Quds Force.

Washington has recently called for fresh measures to punish the Islamic Republic, for what it describes as supply of arms to Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi forces in their fighting against a western-backed Saudi-led coalition that has been bombarding the impoverished Arab country to restore the ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Iran denies the accusations and has denounced unilateral US sanctions as a breach of the JCPOA's spirit.

It has vowed to bolster its missile and military power, which it calls purely defensive in nature.

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