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Iran says extension of sanctions act by US Congress violates nuclear deal

Reuters , Friday 2 Dec 2016
Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (Photo: Reuters)
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Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the U.S. Senate's vote to extend sanctions against the Islamic Republic for 10 years violated a historic nuclear deal reached between the country and six major powers in 2015.

"The extension of sanctions by the U.S. congress is a violation of the deal. We will report it to Iran's committee, assigned for monitoring the implementation of the deal," according to a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi read on television.

Congress members and U.S. officials said the renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act, which was passed unanimously on Thursday, would not violate the nuclear agreement, under which Iran curbed its nuclear-power programme in return for lifting sanctions.

Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned in November that an extension would breach the deal and threatened retaliation.

"The American government is responsible of carrying out its international commitments ... The U.S. president has accepted to use its authority to prevent such measures," Ghasemi said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

The ISA will expire on Dec. 31 if not renewed. The White House had not pushed for an extension, but had not raised serious objections. Some congressional aides said they expected President Barack Obama to sign it.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump railed against the deal during his campaign for the White House.

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