USA sanctions vote 'hostile', says top Iran negotiator

Iran vows to respond to US sanctions

Iranian officials have unanimously denounced Washington's fresh sanctions against Tehran. "Over the past 40 years (following the victory of the Islamic republic in 1979), the Iranians have faced numerous pressures, sanctions and accusations by the US politicians and their propaganda machine".

But US groups supportive of the 2015 nuclear accord worked with Senate and House leadership to ensure this new sanctions bill fully complies with the JCPOA- a condition of Democratic support, said Patrick Clawson, director for research and an Iran specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Iran on Thursday successfully tested a satellite-carrying rocket after promising a response to proposed USA sanctions over Tehran's ballistic missile program.

"The new sanctions on Iran are "unfair", given the achievements of the nuclear deal, but logical, given the [United States'] new policy and new friendship with Saudi Arabia", a French lawmaker told Trend on Wednesday, asking to remain anonymous. He went on to add that President Trump's press secretary had said he would likely sign it into law.

The French Foreign Ministry has said that new United States sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea appeared at odds with global law due to their extra-territorial reach, Reuters reported previously. "That's why it is incompatible with various sections of the JCPOA which the U.S. has committed to implement with good intention and in a constructive atmosphere", he added.

Maloney said the JCPOA clearly allows the United States to pass new sanctions against Iran on matters outside the nuclear file: "It was clear throughout the negotiations and in the text of the JCPOA that significant U.S. restrictions on Iran's economy would remain intact", she said, "nor does the deal preclude the imposition of new measures on grounds unrelated to Iran's nuclear program".

Saying that the sanctions aim to force Iran to give up its hostile approach towards the USA and Israel, he added that Washington and its regional allies plan to prevent Iran from arming militant groups such Lebanon's Hezbollah, hoping that a weakened Islamic Republic may give in their demands.

"Any new sanctions represent a threat to the viability of the nuclear deal, which was a significant accomplishment for European Union diplomacy, as well as a threat to future business on Iran", said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow in the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy.

During his presidential campaign, U.S. President Donald Trump quarreled with the Iranian nuclear deal, achieved during the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Administration officials clashed earlier this month over recertifying Iran's compliance with the agreement.

Araghchi led the negotiating team that agreed the deal with world powers in 2015 known as the JCPOA, by which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

Iran has "successfully" tested a satellite-launch rocket capable of propelling a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds) to an altitude of 500 kilometres (300 miles) above the earth, state television said.

Moreover, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri condemned the USA congressional decisions and warned Washington to be more cautious about its approaches toward the Islamic Republic, Tasnim news agency reported.

"They assume Iran would surrender under a little pressure, but they are wrong".

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