Senate vote to extend sanctions shows US unreliability: Iran

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New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday slammed the US Senate’s vote to extend anti-Tehran sanctions and said that “it is a sign of Washington’s unreliability”.

Zarif, who arrived in New Delhi to participate in the Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar, said the US Senate’s Thursday vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act has no executive value, Press TV reported.

The US Senate voted to extend the sanctions that date back to the 1990s and authorise the US President to potentially impose sanctions on US entities that do business with Iran. The US House of Representatives had also voted to extend the sanctions earlier in November.

“…Even if it is signed off on by America’s President, has no executive effect and from the standpoint of the international community, it shows the lack of credibility of the US government, which acts against its commitments,” Zarif was quoted as saying by the Islamic Students News Agency.

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The law was originally introduced on the unfounded grounds that Iran was pursuing a non-civilian nuclear programme. The fresh sanctions became a source of renewed tension between Iran and the US.

The two countries, along with five other world powers — Britain, France, China, Germany, Russia and the EU, ended a decades-long dispute over the Iranian nuclear programme, when they reached a nuclear deal in July 2015.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), stipulates that all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran be lifted and no new sanctions be imposed as long as Iran fulfils a range of commitments, including certain limits to its nuclear programme and enhanced access to international monitors to Iranian nuclear facilities.

The White House’s Principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said on Friday he “would expect” US President Barack Obama to sign the sanctions.

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