Iran Furious After Obama Said To Extend Iran Sanctions; Oil Jumps To 2016 Highs
A furious Iran threatened to retaliate early Friday against a U. S. Senate vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years, saying it violated last year’s deal with six major powers that curbed its nuclear program. The ISA was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy industry and deter its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons; it was due to expire on Dec. 31. Lawmakers said the extension would make it easier for sanctions to be reimposed if Iran violated the nuclear settlement. The extension was passed unanimously on Thursday.
While US officials said the ISA’s renewal would not infringe on Obama’s landmark nuclear agreement (which may or may not be voided by Trump), and under which Iran agreed to limit its sensitive atomic activity in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions that harmed its oil-based economy, senior Iranian officials took odds with that view. Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who played a central role in reaching the nuclear deal, described the extension as a “clear violation” if implemented.
“We are closely monitoring developments,” state TV quoted Salehi as saying. “If they implement the ISA, Iran will take action accordingly.”
Iran’s most powerful authority, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned in November that an extension of U. S. sanction would be viewed in Tehran as a violation of the nuclear accord.
“Iran has shown its commitment to its international agreements, but we are also prepared for any possible scenario. We are ready to firmly protect the nation’s rights under any circumstances,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said in comments reported by state news agency IRNA.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 2, 2016.