Iran threatens 'severe' response to US sanctions against judiciary chief

Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani

Iran's Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday US President Donald Trump's latest attacks on the nuclear deal were a "desperate effort" to undermine an accord that can not be renegotiated, Daily Mail reports.

While approving the waiver on USA sanctions related to the nuclear deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and people, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

"I hereby call on key European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people", Trump said in the statement.

Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

Even though Mr Trump has now imposed a 120-day deadline on his European partners, it does not appear like they have the appetite to negotiate a follow-on agreement regarding Iran.

The deal is "not renegotiable", Zarif said.

But Trump argues that his predecessor Barack Obama gave away too much to Iran in sanctions relief, without forcing the Islamic republic to end its ballistic missile program and support for militant groups.

In exchange, economic sanctions on it were lifted.

Waiving the big sanctions and slapping on some new small ones is a maneuver we've seen the Trump administration do before, as it deals with its dilemma on the nuclear deal.

While the United States, the United Nations and the European Union have lifted most nuclear-related sanctions, unilaterally imposed US sanctions going back decades remain in place.

Zarif said, "Such words stream out of the mouth of an individual who deems himself the [chief] executive of a country; that culture, that orientation and approach is an obstacle in the way of a paradigm of inclusive dialogue".

Trump said, however, that it would be the last time he signs the waiver unless the deal is modified.

Iran's top diplomat accused U.S. President Donald Trump of "maliciously violating" Iran's 2015 nuclear deal after Trump threatened to pull out of the deal within months unless changes are made.

"Iran's response will be severe, and all consequences of this hostile act will be the responsibility of the United States", it said. They did not immediately react to Trump's demand on January 12 that they help come up with a stronger agreement. Teheran categorically denies it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

The EU's foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said, "The deal is working - it is delivering on its main goal which means keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check and under close surveillance".

Trump alleged that Iranian regime is the world s leading state sponsor of terror and enables Hezbollah, Hamas, and many other terrorists to sow chaos and kill innocent people.

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