Iran demands that Obama allow US sanctions to expire

Iran demands that Obama allow US sanctions to expire
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani urged US President Barack Obama to refrain from signing a ten-year extension of US sanctions on Iran, calling it a violation of the nuclear deal.
2 min read
04 December, 2016
Rouhani promised a "prompt response" from Iran if the US sanctions are extended [Anadolu]
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has demanded that US President Barack Obama allow sanctions on Tehran to expire before he leaves office in January.

Speaking in an open session of parliament on Sunday, the president said a bill passed this week to extend sanctions is a violation of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Rouhani added that Obama is "obliged" to let the sanctions expire and not sign the bill extending the blockade.

Rouhani promised a "prompt response" from Iran if the US sanctions are extended. 

"We are committed to an acceptable implementation of the deal but in response to non-commitment, violation or hesitation in its implementation, we will act promptly," he said.

The US Senate voted on Thursday to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years.

The nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers lifted a variety of international sanctions in exchange for limitations on the Iranian nuclear programme.

But the US still maintains its own separate set of sanctions, which will expire on 31 December if Obama does not sign the extension into law.

Tehran threatened on Saturday to resume its nuclear deal programme if the US extended sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"To the world community, the extension of sanctions against Iran shows the unreliability of the American government," state broadcaster IRIB quoted Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif as saying during an official visit to India.

"America is acting against its commitment," Zarif added.

US President-elect Donald Trump has heavily criticised the nuclear accord as he campaigned for the White House over the past year - calling it the "stupidest deal of all time". 

Several fellow Republicans remain vehemently opposed to the nuclear deal and have called for it to be scrapped.

Agencies contributed to this report.