Tehran: New U.S. sanctions have no practical effect

September 22, 2020 - 16:19

TEHRAN — The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has responded to the newly-announced U.S. sanctions, saying the move is part of the United States’ psychological war against Iran and will have no effect on the activities of the AEOI.

The U.S. issued more sanctions against Iran on Monday, after the UN refused to enforce international penalties that Washington said it had triggered over the weekend.

The new sanctions targeted Iranian individuals and entities connected to Iran’s nuclear enrichment or ballistic missile programs, in yet another unilateral move taken by the Trump administration.

Four cabinet secretaries, the White House national security adviser and the American ambassador to the United Nations announced the additional penalties at the State Department on Monday, the New York Times reported.

“This U.S. measure has no effect on the nuclear activities of the Atomic Energy Organization [of Iran] and it is more a media show,” Behrooz Kamalvandi told ISNA on Monday evening.

“If the U.S. claims that the previous sanctions have been reimposed, why does it need to put these names separately in a sanctions list?” Kamalvandi asked.

He argued that the intention behind such actions is not to impact Iran’s nuclear program but to escape from consecutive defeats in the world which have isolated the U.S.

On Saturday, the U.S. asserted that all UN sanctions eased or lifted by the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are reimposed and must be enforced by UN member states.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, however, that the United Nations will not take any action, “pending clarification by the Security Council” on whether sanctions that have been lifted should be reimposed.

China and Russia have strongly rejected the U.S. stance, while Britain, France and Germany — the so-called E3 — pointed out that the U.S. move did not have legal effect.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also responded, saying the Americans, as a rule, act as a bully and impose sanctions.

“The world community should decide how to act towards bullying,” Zarif said on Saturday.

Back in May 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the JCPOA. He later adopted a “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran to force it to negotiate a new deal.

According to Kamalvandi, since the U.S. exited the JCPOA, it has taken a lot of measures to restrict Iran’s nuclear activities but to no avail.

“That’s why I believe the U.S. has done anything in its power and such measures have not affected Iran’s nuclear activities,” he said.

The spokesman reiterated that Tehran’s nuclear program is moving forward and Washington’s measures do not impede the process.

In similar remarks on Monday evening, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Iran “has no practical effect”.

“The US decision today to impose sanctions on Iran has no practical effect; rather, it is a clear sign of desperation after its recent failures at UN which only added to US' isolation,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi said via Twitter.

“US will never see the return of terminated resolutions for—in int'l law—they are nonexistent,” he added.

MH/PA

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