US sanctions: Iran to ditch further nuclear weapon commitments

Ali Shamkhani

Iran will abandon more nuclear deal commitments on 7 July, the country’s Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said on Tuesday, according to the Fars news agency.

He said that European signatories to the nuclear deal had not done enough to save it.

The 2015 deal requires Iran to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions – which the US re-imposed after withdrawing from the deal last year.

On Monday, US president Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior figures.

Sanctions against foreign minister Mohmmad Javad Zarif are expected later this week.

Iran said the measures spell the “permanent closure” of diplomacy between the two nations.

President Hassan Rouhani described the White House as “afflicted by mental retardation”, and called the sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “outrageous and idiotic”.

However, Mr Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said talks between the nations are still possible and the US is leaving an “open door” for Iran.

Iran says it intends to continue complying with the deal, but cannot do so indefinitely unless European countries find ways to protect it from US sanctions.

It blamed the US for abandoning the only route to peace just days after the two countries came within minutes of conflict.

US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said the States would continue its maximum pressure campaign against Iran until Tehran changes its behaviour.

Speaking as he left the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Tuesday, where he traded sharp accusations with an Iranian diplomat, he said: “We will look to see what more we can do on sanctions.”

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