Iran warns to reactivate nuclear program upon further U.S. sanctions

Iran warns to reactivate nuclear program upon further U.S. sanctions

Iran warns to reactivate nuclear program upon further U.S. sanctions

Speaking before a meeting with his counterparts from Iran, Britain and France and the European Union, Sigmar Gabriel said the United States was right to address concerns about Iran's strategy in the Middle East.

However, over the past year, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions against a number of Iranian and worldwide entities which have, allegedly, had links with Iran's developing pace of missile program.

"The accord is essential and there is no alternative", France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters.

"We know that it's absolutely necessary to have the signal that it's possible by diplomatic approaches to prevent the development of nuclear weapons, in a time when other parts of the world are discussing how to get nuclear weapons into force", Gabriel said.

In October, he refused to recertify for Congress that Iran was complying, accusing it of "not living up to the spirit" of the agreement.

"The Trump Administration is deeply concerned by reports that the Iranian regime has imprisoned thousands of Iranian citizens in the past week for engaging in peaceful protests", the White House said in a statement.

Officials have said the majority have since been released, with only the main "instigators" facing trial.

Prior to that, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said on Monday that Tehran might reconsider its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if the United States reneged on sanctions relief. But they said he might also impose new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people allegedly involved in missile tests, supporting terrorism, and human rights abuses. "IAEA has verified Iran's full compliance, but continuation will depend on full USA compliance", he wrote.

It's not clear whether Congress will live up to the administration's hope for new legislation authorizing more the more targeted sanctions or other changes to the USA commitments under the deal.

"It is vital that we continue to work with our European partners to preserve the Iran deal, and with it the security and prosperity it is bringing to the people of Iran and the world".

European officials have however conceded that Mr Trump's frustration over weaker aspects of the deal is well grounded and deserves support.

The decision comes as Iran's government deals with protests over economic hardships and corruption that have been encouraged by Trump. Trump openly supported those protesters on Twitter.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly said Iran is keeping up its side of the agreement, most recently in November.

He is expected to reject at least one, which essentially decertifies Iran's compliance with the deal, a senior administration official told CNN last week.

Kamalvandi said, "If suspension of the sanctions will not be extended, Iran will take the first retaliatory action immediately".

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