Iran says U.S. extension of sanctions act violates nuclear deal

Reuters reports: Iran threatened on Friday to retaliate against the U.S. Senate’s vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years, saying it violated last year’s deal with six major powers that curbed its nuclear programme.

The ISA was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy industry and deter its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The extension was passed unanimously on Thursday.

U.S. officials said the ISA’s renewal would not infringe on the nuclear agreement, under which Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear work in return for the lifting of financial sanctions that harmed the country’s economy.

But senior Iranian officials took odds with that view.

Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who played a key role in reaching the nuclear deal, described it as a “clear violation” of the 2015 deal if implemented.

“We are closely monitoring the developments,” state TV quoted Salehi as saying. “If they implement the ISA, Iran will take action accordingly.”

The extension risks deepening hostilities between Iran and the United States ahead of the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who said during his election campaign that he would abandon the deal. [Continue reading…]

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