US, for now, retains Iran deal sanctions relief

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani

A senior Iranian military official has accused Washington of "seeking excuses" to tear up the nuclear deal Tehran reached with six world powers by demanding inspections of Iranian military sites.

Referring to recent action of the USA president in approving the Congress bill on applying new anti-Iran sanctions and prohibition sales of new aircraft to the country, he emphasized "the issue reveals a contradiction between text and spirit of the JCPOA, the Iranian Parliament and government give a firm response to the breach of promise through the Supervisory Committee".

Last month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley traveled to Vienna to press the IAEA on accessing Iran's military sites; a demand which has been categorically rejected by Tehran.

In a Twitter message, Zarif said the deal is not renegotiable, adding that it was "about time for [the] stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran".

"It is impossible for foreigners to uncover the [country's] research and production capacities in the area of conventional arms", he said. "It's a deal that should not have ever been made".

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has said the issue of access to Iran's military sites is a "closed dossier", noting Iran will respond to US "counter-constructive behavior".

Zarif has also said that Haley's visit to the IAEA undermines "the independence and credibility" of IAEA inspectors.

On Thursday, Gholam Ali Khoshroo, Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the USA was obliged to protect the JCPOA and continue enabling the sanctions relief under the accord.

Reports by Reuters, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, and ABC News, citing unnamed administration officials, both indicated that the White House is set to extend a waiver on wide-ranging oil, trade, and financial sanctions first lifted by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program in a landmark 2015 deal that Trump has repeatedly criticized.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department said the new sanctions unrelated to the nuclear deal will be imposed on the Sadid Caran Saba Engineering Company for allegedly proliferating activities related to Iran's ballistic missile program; the Khors Aircompany and Dart Airlines for providing material support to Caspian Airlines, which the United States accuses of helping the Iranian National Guard transport "personnel and illicit material, including weapons, from Iran to Syria;" and several individuals associated with Iranian computer security company ITSec Team for "denial of service attacks against at least nine large US financial institutions, including top USA banks and US stock exchanges".

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