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Iranian Official Claims European Missile Sanctions would Violate Nuclear Deal

An Iranian official claims that proposed European sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile program would “be making a big mistake” and suggested that they would be violating the nuclear deal, Reuters reported on Saturday.

“In case some European countries are following steps to put non-nuclear sanctions against Iran in order to please the American president, they will be making a big mistake and they will see the direct result of that on the nuclear deal,” Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister told the nation’s state media.

Iran’s semi-official PressTV news agency wrote that according to Araqchi, these proposed sanctions would “affect the very existence of the nuclear agreement.”

Araqchi was referring to an earlier report that the United Kingdom, France and Germany were proposing new European Union sanctions to be imposed on Iran for its continued ballistic missile program, defying the language in United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which implements the deal, and calls on Iran not to develop ballistic missiles. The new sanctions would also target Tehran for its support of the Assad regime in Syria.

In July 2015, then Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate hearing regarding non-nuclear sanctions, “So all of our other sanctions authorities remain in place, they are unaffected by this agreement, and Iran only said, if you read what it says, that they would treat the imposition of new nuclear related sanctions as the grounds to cease performing. But they are clear and we are clear that we have all other kinds of authorities and let me specific on that because it’s important for this whole debate to be clear.”

“It’s better that European countries continue their current action to persuade America to keep its promises in the nuclear deal and for that country to effectively execute the deal in all its parts with good will and in a productive atmosphere,” Araqchi added.

Araqchi did not address the finding of a UN panel earlier this year that Iran had violated a UN resolution prohibiting arms exports to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Iran’s export of arms also means that it was in violation of Resolution 2231, which also extended embargoes of it’s export of weapons and missiles.

[Photo: Chatham House / WikiCommons]