Iran’s Foreign Ministry has blasted President Donald Trump for signing a congressional bill that levies new sanctions against Iranian entities associated with the country’s missile program and support for terrorism in the region. “We will not remain silent regarding the breach of J.C.P.O.A. [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran nuclear agreement] by America and the government and parliament will soon announce this country’s retaliatory measures,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said today. “This move by trouble-making bullies and extremist and ill-intentioned elements ruling the United States of America yet again put on display America’s unilateralism and illogical enmity,” he added.
Separately, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said earlier this week that Tehran was taking legal measures against the U.S. “breaches of the J.C.P.O.A.” at the United Nations.
Comment: On Wednesday, Trump signed a congressional bill that imposes additional sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The Iranian government has vowed to take retaliatory measures but has not yet issued a formal response. In the past, Tehran’s countermeasures have been symbolic as it targeted American companies that do not do business in Iran. Since the new U.S. sanctions targets the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.) and its elite Quds Force in a more significant way, Iran is likely to take measures against U.S. interests in the region, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iranian military leaders have recently sent veiled threats to Washington that its proxies could target U.S. military personnel in the region if the Trump administration dials up pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Hours after Trump signed the legislation, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi announced that Tehran will take “appropriate and proportionate” retaliatory measures, including further empowering the I.R.G.C. and its elite Quds Force. Earlier this year, the chairman of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission warned that the Islamic Republic would designate the U.S. Army and the Central Intelligence Agency as terrorist entities if Washington blacklisted the I.R.G.C.