TEHRAN – A top Iranian nuclear negotiator has slammed the new sanctions on a number of Iranian companies as “unconstructive”, saying the sanctions are against the spirit of the recent Geneva deal between Tehran and the six major powers.
Abbas Araqchi said on Friday that the United States has been “indecisive” and “confused” in its approach toward Iran.
“The U.S. administration has been recently making efforts to prevent the Senate from imposing new sanctions on Iran, and on the other hand they blacklist a number of additional companies under sanctions,” Araqchi stated. “This double game and indecision is not to the benefit of the negotiation atmosphere and is against the spirit of the Geneva agreement.”
“We are evaluating the situation and will react accordingly,” said Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister who was heavily involved in the nuclear talks with the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).
Iran and the 5+1 group clinched a deal on November 24 according to which Iran agreed to offer a number of concessions in exchange for limited relief from the sanctions imposed on the country.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham also said, “The responsibility of the consequences of the imprudent measures rests with the U.S. government.”
On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “The U.S. administration’s decision goes against the spirit of this document.”
The United States on Thursday blacklisted a number of additional companies and people under sanctions aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, U.S. officials said in a statement, Reuters reported.
Treasury and State Department officials said the move shows the recent agreement reached in Geneva over Iran “does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran’s nuclear program or seeking to evade our sanctions.”
Officials said Thursday’s targets include companies and individuals engaged in transactions on behalf of other companies that the United States has also previously designated under the sanctions. They include Mid Oil Asia, Singa Tankers, Siqiriya Maritime, Ferland Company Limited and Vitaly Sokolenko.
The U.S. also named five Iranian entities it said are directly engaged in actions contributing to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium.
Several other entities related to Iran’s ballistic missile program were also targeted.