Iran Complains to U.N. over Latest U.S. Sanctions, Threatens Firm Response

By Ahmad Majidyar | Fellow and Director of IranObserved Project - The Middle East Institute | Aug 1, 2017
Iran Complains to U.N. over Latest U.S. Sanctions, Threatens Firm Response

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said today that the country’s committee monitoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the nuclear agreement Iran signed with the United States and five other world powers two years ago – has determined that the latest U.S. sanctions violate the accord and added that the committee has filed a complaint with the Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission about it. According to Larijani, the Iranian monitoring committee on Monday also devised a 16-article plan to retaliate against the latest U.S. sanctions. He did not provide details about the plan but stressed that President Hassan Rouhani will notify relevant government authorities, including Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization, of the plan and will order them to implement it. The top Iranian lawmaker cautioned that Trump administration aims to discourage foreign investment in Iran and called on the Rouhani government to “act with determination and prudence to prevent the Americans from reaching their goals.” He noted that President Donald Trump had asked world leaders at the G20 summit not to do business with Iran. He also revealed that the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has prepared a separate bill in response to the U.S. sanctions. The bill will be assessed by the parliament after Rouhani’s inauguration ceremony.

Comment: The escalating tension between Washington and Tehran over the latter’s ballistic missile activity and support for terrorism has put the future of the Iran nuclear deal in serious jeopardy. Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate almost unanimously approved new sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea and Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. The next day, the U.S. Department of Treasury on Friday slapped additional embargoes on Iranian companies after Tehran launched a satellite carrier rocket – the latest set of sanctions imposed on Iranian entities by the Trump administration over the past seven months.

Although the Trump administration last month certified that Tehran was in compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, it announced new sanctions against the Islamic Republic and emphasized that the administration was “deeply concerned about Iran's malign activities across the Middle East which undermine regional stability, security and prosperity." The media also reported that Trump only reluctantly agreed with the certification.

The Trump administration is currently reassessing U.S. overall policy toward Iran, and Trump has indicated on several occasions that he may walk away from the nuclear deal at some point.