Iran is promising to pursue “intelligent” and careful measures in response to the new round of sanctions signed into effect by U.S. President Donald Trump, which Tehran has said represents a clear violation of the terms of 2015's landmark nuclear deal, of which Trump has long been a strong critic.
"The main goal of America in approving these sanctions against Iran is to destroy the nuclear deal and we will show a very intelligent reaction to this action," Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said according to ISNA news agency.
“In our view, the nuclear deal has been violated and we will show an appropriate and proportional reaction to this issue,” Araqchi said. He added that the measures would be “intelligent,” and that the nation did not want to get “entangled in the politics of the American government and Trump.”
The bill, called the “Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” targets Iran, Russia, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Signed almost unanimously by Congress, and approved by Trump, Araqchi has said that the “hostile” act reflects a sentiment in the U.S. government fearing an empowered Iran in the region.
The new sanctions come only a day before Iran's re-elected moderate president Hassan Rouhani is sworn in for a new term.
“A host of retaliatory measures in the legislative, technical, nuclear, economic, political, defense, and military areas, have been devised by the body monitoring the JCPOA, which will be pursued in a coordinated way and in parallel with each other,” Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said.
“The U.S. arrogant policies could only be confronted through dependence on national power and capabilities,” Shamkhani noted.
The official stressed that developing defense capabilities is an “inalienable right” of Iran, and that this is “not up for negotiations.” Iran has maintained that their non-nuclear development of ballistic missiles is within the bounds of the agreement.
The 2015 nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed between Iran and six other major world powers. It agreed to eliminate international sanctions and normalize economic relations with Iran in exchange for Tehran's reduction of uranium enrichment below weapons-grade levels, and to allow international inspections to ensure that weapons were not being produced.
The much lauded agreement is supported by the European nations involved, as well as China and Russia, however U.S. President Trump has long-called it a “very bad deal.”
The United Nations body in charge of overseeing the agreement's implementation has certified Iran's full compliance with the terms since January 2016.