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Iran Vows ‘Firm Response’ Unless Obama Stops Sanctions Renewal

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Iran Vows ‘Firm Response’ Unless Obama Stops Sanctions Renewal

Iran Rouhani

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded on Sunday that Barack Obama block an extension of sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress, saying Tehran would otherwise “firmly respond”.

In a speech to parliament, Rouhani denounced legislation passed by the U.S. Congress to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years as a violation of Tehran’s nuclear deal with six major powers. The deal curbs Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions.

“America’s president is obliged to exercise his authority by preventing its approval and particularly its implementation … and if this gross violation is carried out we will firmly respond,” Rouhani said in the speech, carried live by state television.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law, the White House said on Friday.

The U.S. Congress move was a blow to Rouhani, a pragmatist who engineered the diplomatic opening to the West that led to the nuclear deal.

U.S. officials have said the ISA renewal would not infringe the nuclear agreement. U.S. lawmakers have also said the ISA extension would make it easier for sanctions to be quickly reimposed if Iran contravened the nuclear deal.

On Sunday, 264 lawmakers in Iran’s 290-seat parliament issued a statement calling on the government to implement counter measures, including relaunching nuclear enrichment halted under the atomic deal, the official news agency IRNA reported.

The diplomatic thaw between Washington and Tehran over the past two years looks in jeopardy with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month. He said during his election campaign that he would scrap the nuclear agreement.

Last month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the extension would be viewed in Tehran as a breach of the nuclear accord and threatened retaliation.

Khamenei and his hardline loyalists have criticized the deal and blamed Rouhani for his government’s failure to deliver swift improvements in living standards since sanctions were lifted in January.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Susan Fenton)

IMAGE: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a news conference with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann in Tehran February 27, 2016.REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/ 



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 4, 2016

    Sorry, Hassan Rouhani, but the GOP is as stubbornly conservative as you and many other hard-liners in theocratic Iran. Threats and the prospect of further international instability have little impact on the dullards currently in control in Congress who have been granted an almost iron-clad grip on the throttle and steering wheel it has hi-jacked in directing America.
    The majority in Congress are so rabid in their hate and disrespect of the out-going President, and obsessed with power, that they are blinded by the fury of such animosity and drunk with the headiness of unfettered control.

    1. dbtheonly December 4, 2016

      I’d have thought that the Iranians are ahead of the game if Trump doesn’t drop nuclear bombs on them.

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      2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 10, 2016

        The same disease of being unable to adjust to change is very much entrenched in the minds of many Iranian Muslims and has especially deranged the minds of most of the Mullahs and their sycophants. Like Trump and the GOP here, they can only think short-term and are violently opposed to change on any level except if it benefits them personally and guarantees a tight grip on control.

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