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article imageUS sanctions vote 'hostile', says top Iran negotiator

By AFP     Jul 26, 2017 in World

Iran's top nuclear negotiator said on Wednesday that new sanctions approved by the US House of Representatives were "a hostile measure" that breached Washington's commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal.

"The ongoing action in the US Congress... is very clearly a hostile measure against the Islamic republic of Iran," deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi said, according to the ISNA news agency.

Araghchi led the negotiating team that agreed the deal with world powers in 2015 known as the JCPOA, by which Iran agreed to strict limits on its nuclear programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions.

The new sanctions bill passed by the House on Tuesday, was merely "a compilation of previous US sanctions in the non-nuclear fields," Araghchi said.

"Still, it can influence the successful implementation of the JCPOA and reduce Iran's benefits under the JCPOA. That's why it is incompatible with various sections of the JCPOA which the US has committed to implement with good intention and in a constructive atmosphere," he added.

"These are America's commitments. What the Congress is doing is against these commitments and for sure will be met with a reaction from Iran."

The Iranian parliament's national security and foreign affairs committee said it would hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss its response.

The parliament voted earlier this month to fast-track a bill introduced in June that would increase funds for Iran's missile programme and Revolutionary Guards.

The UN and other signatories to the nuclear deal have agreed that Iran has stuck to its commitments, which has been reluctantly accepted by the administration of President Donald Trump.

"The new US administration has been forced to confirm Iran's loyalty to the deal twice within the past six months and it has had no other option as the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in various reports has clearly expressed Iran's compliance with its commitments," Araghchi said.

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