New US Congress sanctions to kill nuclear deal: Iran FM

New US Congress sanctions to kill nuclear deal: Iran FM
Tue Dec 10, 2013 08:14:58

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned that the recent nuclear deal struck between his nation and world powers would evaporate if the United States Congress impose new economic sanctions on Iran.

Time Magazine reported Monday that Zarif said in an interview over the weekend that any new sanctions mean the November 24 interim agreement goes bust.

“The entire deal is dead,” Zarif said in response to possible new sanctions, even those that take time to materialize.

A group of US senators is preparing legislation to enact new economic constraints on Iran once the agreement’s six months are up and no new deal is reached.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and Senator Mark Kirk are near a deal to target Iran’s remaining oil exports, foreign exchange reserves and strategic industries, congressional aides told Reuters.

The White House opposes the senators’ plan, as it would limit President Barack Obama’s ability to waive sanctions on Iran. It would also revive certain sanctions if Tehran does not follow through with the agreement in Geneva with the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - known as the P5+1 group of world powers.

Zarif told Time Magazine Iran will hold firm. "We do not like to negotiate under duress," he said. "If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States.

"I know the domestic complications and various issues inside the United States, but for me that is no justification. I have a parliament. My parliament can also adopt various legislation that can go into effect if negotiations fail," he continued. "But if we start doing that, I don't think that we will be getting anywhere."

US Secretary of State John Kerry will voice the Obama administration’s opposition to any new sanction agreement during congressional testimony Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The deal struck in Geneva allows time for Iran and the P5+1 to come to a final agreement that the US says should limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful uses and that Tehran says should lead to a relief of all economic sanctions.


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