Iran vows ‘strong response’ to US sanctions
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Iran vows ‘strong response’ to US sanctions

Deputy FM says punitive measures amount to ‘hostile’ breach of nuke accord; parliamentary committee meets to review Tehran reaction

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi speaking in Tehran, Iran, on October 22, 2013. (AFP/Atta Kenare)
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi speaking in Tehran, Iran, on October 22, 2013. (AFP/Atta Kenare)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran was holding an emergency meeting on Saturday to review its response to a package of sanctions approved by the US Senate, vowing a “strong response” to US punitive measures.

Iranian state TV was reporting that a parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy was hosting the meeting.

The Saturday report said deputy foreign minister and senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the US legislation amounts to a “hostile” breach of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. It now goes to President Donald Trump for signing.

Araqchi says: “A strong answer will be given to the action by the US.”

The new US legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. It would also apply terrorism sanctions to Iran’s prestigious Revolutionary Guard and enforce an arms embargo.

Earlier Saturday, Iran condemned the sanctions passed by against its missile program, and vowed to continue it.

A picture from the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry claims to show the launch of a satellite-carrying rocket on July 27, 2017. (Iranian Defense Ministry)
A picture from the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry claims to show the launch of a satellite-carrying rocket on July 27, 2017. (Iranian Defense Ministry)

“We will continue with full power our missile program,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told state broadcaster IRIB.

“We consider the action by the US as hostile, reprehensible and unacceptable, and it’s ultimately an effort to weaken the nuclear deal,” Ghasemi added, referring to a 2015 agreement with the United States and other world powers that lifted some sanctions on Tehran.

“The military and missile fields… are our domestic policies and others have no right to intervene or comment on them.

“We reserve the right to reciprocate and make an adequate response to the US actions,” he said.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran on August 22, 2016. (screen capture: YouTube)
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi briefs journalists at a press conference in Tehran on August 22, 2016. (screen capture: YouTube)

The sanctions bill, which also targets Russia and North Korea, was passed by the US Senate on Thursday, two days after being approved by the House of Representatives.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday that Trump will sign the bill into law.

Separately on Friday, Washington imposed new sanctions targeting Iran’s missile program a day after Tehran tested a satellite-launch rocket.

The US Treasury singled out six companies owned or controlled by Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, which it said was central to the program, freezing their US assets and barring US citizens from dealing with them.

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