Khamenei: Iran will retaliate if U.S. breaches nuclear deal by extending sanctions
TEHRAN - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warned that Tehran would be forced to retaliate if U.S. passes law to extend sanctions on Iran, a move deemed as a violation of the Iranian nuclear deal.
The House of Representatives unanimously agreed upon the re-authorisation of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years last week.
The ISA was initially imposed in 1996 to deter investments into Iran’s energy industry and prevent the Islamic Republic seeking nuclear weapons. It is due to expire at the end of the year, unless it passes the Senate and is signed into law by outgoing President Barack Obama.
Under the Iranian nuclear deal – dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – all sanctions imposed by the US, UN Security Council and the EU on Iran were to be dropped in exchange for Iran limiting their nuclear capabilities to civilian objectives.
Khamenei accuses the renewal of ISA as a violation of JCPOA, which was agreed upon between Iran and five UN Security Council members the US, Britain, Russia, China, France as well as Germany.
“The current U.S. government has breached the nuclear deal in many occasions,” said the Supreme Leader to a gathering of members of the Revolutionary Guards.
“The latest is extension of sanctions for 10 years, that if it happens, would surely be against JCPOA, and the Islamic Republic would definitely react to it.”
President-elect Donald Trump heavily criticised JCPOA during his campaign, frequently calling it the worst deal ever and threatening to ‘rip up’ the agreement upon election.
Khamenei responded harshly to Trump’s remarks, saying Iran would ‘set fire’ to the deal if the President-elect acted on his campaign threats.