MP: Zarif likely to Attend Parliament's Commission Next Week

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian lawmaker said that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would likely attend the parliament's national security and foreign policy commission's session next week.

MP: Zarif likely to Attend Parliament's Commission Next Week

Abass Ali Mansouri, a member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, said on Wednesday that Zarif would probably attend the commission's session next week to discuss with lawmakers the fresh US sanctions imposed in the wake of last month's nuclear deal in Geneva. 

The US Treasury Department on Thursday slapped 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 tougher sanctions that would be in clear breach of the Geneva agreement.

Zarif has described the latest US sanctions as “extremely counterproductive” and against the “very aim of the negotiations,” but said Tehran is committed to reaching a final comprehensive agreement with the world powers over its nuclear energy program.

“We are committed to ensuring that the process that we started … will lead to a satisfactory conclusion that would address the requirements as stated in the agreement,” Zarif said in an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday.

According to Zarif, the latest snag in the negotiations does not mean the Geneva deal is not dead.

“I believe we need to have a reassessment of how we want to proceed  -- everybody needs to do that -- go back to the negotiating table with a view to removing these obstacles and moving forward,” he argued.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who chairs the parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, contends that the United States has violated the provisions of the nuclear accord, and has called for acceleration of Tehran’s civilian nuclear activities.

“Undoubtedly, the latest US move to blacklist a number of Iranian companies and institutions is the flagrant violation of the Geneva nuclear accord, and the US officials revealed that they are not trustworthy,” he said.

While Iranian officials say the sanctions run counter to the spirit of the Geneva deal, White House spokesman Jay Carney responded by clarifying that the designations “were related to the enforcement of existing sanctions, and we have made clear all along that we would continue to enforce existing sanctions.”

“We have been clear with Iran throughout this process that we will continue to enforce existing sanctions,” Carney said.

Iran and the six major world powers struck an interim deal in Geneva on November 24 that can pave the way for resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program. The goal is to create a breathing space for a comprehensive agreement to be negotiated which the sides hope can settle the standoff for good.

The interim agreement reached in Geneva sets out trust-building measures by both sides to be implemented in a six-month period, during which negotiations over the final accord must begin.

Under the deal signed with the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany, Iran agreed to limit uranium enrichment and allow for more inspections in exchange for minor relief from western sanctions. The G5+1 also agreed not to impose new nuclear-related sanctions during that span.

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