News ID: 197561
Published: 0253 GMT July 29, 2017
Iran MPs approve anti-US draft bill

Iran: US sanctions hostile, reprehensible

Iran: US sanctions hostile, reprehensible

Iran on Saturday said it will press ahead with its missile program and condemned new US sanctions imposed for test firing missiles.

"We will continue with full power our missile program," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told the national TV. "We consider the action by the US as hostile, reprehensible and unacceptable, and it's ultimately an effort to weaken the nuclear deal."

Qassemi was referring to a 2015 agreement, known as the JCPOA, between Iran and six world powers that lifted some sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear work.

"The military and missile fields... are our domestic policies and others have no right to intervene or comment on them," the spokesman said.

The sanctions bill, which also targets Russia and North Korea, was passed by the US Senate on Thursday, two days after being approved by the House of Representatives. US President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Separately on Friday, the US imposed new sanctions targeting Iran's missile program.

The US sanctions hit six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, described by the Treasury Department as “central” to Iran’s ballistic missiles program.

The sanctions came a day after Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, in what was likely a major advancement for the country’s space program. The “Simorgh” rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 550 pounds (250 kilograms).

In a joint statement, Britain, France, Germany and the US said the test was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the nuclear deal. The grouping represented all of the Western nations that are part of the nuclear deal, which also includes Russia, China and the European Union known as the P5+1 group.

"We call on Iran not to conduct any further ballistic missile launches and related activities," they said.

Notably, the nations stopped short of saying the launch had “violated” the UN resolution, saying only that it was “inconsistent” with Resolution 2231. That’s because the resolution calls upon, but doesn’t oblige, Iran to refrain from ballistic missile development.

Iran insists it has "proven its compliance with the nuclear deal" as repeatedly confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Iran does not recognize any limits to its scientific and technological progress and will not wait for the approval or permission of any country regarding the activities of its scientists and experts," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.


US ‘bad faith’

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif pushed back on any suggestion Iran had done anything wrong by launching the satellite into space. He said Friday that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal and drew a contrast with the US, accusing Washington of not complying with “the letter and spirit” of the deal.

“Rhetoric and actions from the US show bad faith,” Zarif said.

He also rejected the notion that Iran was working to develop missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead.

“Iran is not and will not be developing nuclear weapons; so by definition cannot develop anything designed to be capable of delivering them,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.


Anti-US draft bill

Meanwhile, the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy passed the general outlines of a motion to counter the terrorist and adventurous US measures in the region.

All members of the key committee on Saturday voted in favor of the motion’s general outlines during an extraordinary session, which was also attended by Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Hassan Qashqavi.

The committee is likely to discuss the motion’s details next week.

Speaking to reporters, Araqchi stressed the importance of adopting an appropriate measure in response to the “hostile and malicious” US moves given their adverse consequences on the implementation of the landmark nuclear agreement.

There was a consensus among the members of the committee about the motion, he said and added that upon its final approval, the Islamic Republic would give a “firm and comprehensive” response to the US moves.

During the eighth meeting of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission, which oversees the implementation of the JCPOA, in the Austrian capital of Vienna late in July, Iran informed the participants about the cases of the US violation of the deal, Araqchi said.

He emphasized that the parliamentary committee’s motion includes Iran’s reciprocal measures in the face of the US moves against the Islamic Republic.

It also envisages measures to support the Iranian Armed Forces and security forces as well as the country’s people who would be harmed by the US actions, the diplomat said.

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