Lawmaker Deplores US Dual-Track Policy towards Iran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – New bans imposed on some firms and individuals for evading existing sanctions on Iran are a sign that the US is pursuing a dual-track policy of pressure and talks with Iran, said a senior lawmaker said on Sunday who also urged the Iranian negotiators not to go ahead with the talks.
“By breaching the Geneva deal, the Americans showed that they are not trustworthy, and this move proved that the US administration is following a dual-track policy," Mohammad Hassan Asafari told the Tasnim News Agency, referring to recent inclusion of a number of Iranian and non-Iranian companies and individuals on US trade blacklists.
He said that on the one hand the US administration speaks about the need for negotiations with Iran and on the other hand the US Treasury and State departments intensify the sanctions - a sign of inconsistency is US policymaking.
"We hereby announce that if the West continues with such approaches, the Islamic Republic of Iran, too, will revise its approach towards the deal,” Asafari added.
"In preactice theAmericans proved that deceit has been instilled in their nature," referring to anti-Iran comments by Wendy Sherman,the US State Department’s third ranking official and the negotiator in Iran-G5+1 nuclear talks, who had said in October that "deception is part of the DNA in Iran."
On Thursday, the US Treasury and State departments issued new sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions against Iran. The blacklisting is widely seen as an attempt to head off moves in Congress to impose additional sanctions that would be in clear breach of the Geneva agreement.
This comes weeks after Iran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) signed a six-month deal on Tehran’s nuclear program based on which the world powers agreed to suspend some non-essential sanctions and to imposed no new nuclear-related bans in return for Tehran's decision to freeze parts of its nuclear activities and to allow more inspection of its nuclear facilities.
During the half-year period, Iran and the G5+1 are due to negotiate a comprehensive deal with the aim of resolving for good the standoff over Iran's nuclear program after a decade of on-off meetings and failed attempts.
The two sides are still in talks over how to implement the November deal. On Thursday, Iran's delegation left talks with representatives of the G5+1 in Vienna on the implementation of the deal after the US expanded its sanctions blacklist, with Iranian officials arguing the new measures are in breach of the agreement brokered in Geneva last month.
Senior administration officials argued that Thursday's blacklisting of 19 firms and persons was carried out within the framework of the existing sanctions regime and did not amount to new measures.
"The confidence-building measures by Iran have not been reciprocated by the West and its has only added to out deep sense of mistrust, something that can pose serious challenges to the future of the nuclear talks," Asafari said.
He emphasized that negotiations and snactions are mutually exclusive and urged Iran's nuclear negotiators not to continue the talks, saying Tehran should install advanced, second-generation centrifuges and resume construction activities at Arak heavy-water reactor in the framework of Non-proliferation Treaty.
The fresh anti-Iran sanctions have already drawn condemnation from various Iranian authorities.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing serious confusion in the approach, decisions and remarks of American officials, and the US administration is fully responsible for the consequences of (these) indiscreet measures,” Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Friday.
“The onus for consequences of such indiscreet measures is all on the US administration,” she warned.
And Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araqchi, said the US move went against the spirit of the deal struck in Geneva last month.