0831 GMT February 21, 2018
Iranian lawmakers have been mulling countermeasures over the past weeks against the US Senate’s decision to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The MPs have prepared a draft bill to counter Washington’s “hostile” acts and sanctions toward Iran.
The bill will allocate about 1 trillion tomans (about $270 million) to the country’s missile activities. The same amount will be earmarked for combating terrorism.
Last month, the Senate voted 98-2 for new sanctions on Iran and Russia.
The bill includes new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program and “continued support for terrorism.”
Iranian government officials as well as lawmakers have denounced the decision taken by the US Senate.
A Member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee told Iran Daily that the draft drawn up by his colleagues aims to show that the Islamic Republic will not yield to restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies.
Mohammad Ebrahim Rezaei said the “psychological operations” of Americans will fail to affect countermeasures against Washington.
US Senators have said that their anti-Iran bill does not run counter to the Iran nuclear deal.
However, Rezaei described such comments as “propaganda” and in line with attempts to “shirk responsibility,” which is “unacceptable.”
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China — plus Germany signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program in July 2015 and started implementing it in January 2016.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
The lawmaker said Americans have pledged to refrain from imposing any sanctions which will affect the JCPOA, adding that they are breaching their commitments under excuses such as Iran’s missile program and its human rights record.
He said missile capabilities are an “inseparable” part of Iran’s defensive system.
Rezaei said the Islamic Republic is entitled to take reciprocal actions against Washington’s “non-commitment” for refusing to stick to its obligations under the JCPOA.
Iran’s defensive ballistic missile program has been a bone of contention with the US.
Washington claims that the projectiles are against a UN resolution which endorsed the JCPOA.
Tehran, however, says its missile tests do not breach UN resolutions because they are solely for defensive purposes and not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
Alireza Mahjoub also talked to Iran Daily about the Senate’s anti-Iran bill, saying it manifests Washington’s “pugnacious” and “arrogant” approach toward Iran.
He said such an approach shows a “blind nationalism” and new racist policy in the US. He said the approach is also indicative of the fact that Americans are preparing to enforce fascist policies in the world.
Morteza Safari, another Member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told Iran Daily that the US Senate’s sanctions are against the spirit of the JCPOA.
He said the Islamic Republic should take actions vis-à-vis Washington’s moves against the Iran nuclear deal through JCPOA’s Joint Commission as well as international courts.
The lawmaker said since other signatories of the P5+1 are siding with Iran, Tehran can put pressure on Americans through the Joint Commission, which is tasked with monitoring the nuclear deal.