Iran nuclear deal under US pressure

(VOVWORLD) - US-Iran relations are once again threatened by new economic sanctions against Iran signed by President Donald Trump on August 2. Trump said the measure conveys a message that the US will not tolerate Iran’s dangerous and provocative activities. Analysts say the sanctions are intended to break down the nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and the P5+1 during Barack Obama’s Presidency.
Iran nuclear deal under US pressure - ảnh 1A meeting to review the nuclear deal in Vienna, Austria (photo: AFP/VNA)

The US economic sanctions on Iran were passed in a bill along with sanctions against Russia and North Korea. US officials have said the sanctions are retaliation for Iran’s ballistic missile program, which has provoked regional tensions. The US had previously warned Iran that it was not complying with the spirit of the nuclear deal signed with China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany, and the US.

Enhancing pressure on Iran

The new sanctions target individuals and organizations who support “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.” The US State Department named two Iranian organizations connected to Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

Before signing the additional sanctions, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remains the single most dangerous threat to US interests and regional stability. They said Iran’s activities have undermined the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In July President Trump ordered his national security advisor to collect evidence to support killing the US-Iran nuclear deal. The US has intensified its scrutiny of Iran’s suspicious sites, a move considered by Tehran to be a deliberate provocation.

The US claims Iran is the one who is breaking the agreement. Analysts see a new crisis arising. Ending the US-Iran nuclear deal could trigger an arms race in the Middle East involving Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who have their own nuclear ambitions.

Iran’s prudent reaction

3 days after the US President signed the new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, to call for enhanced effort to protect the 2015 nuclear deal. Rouhani said Iran has not violated the deal and it will make an appropriate and proportional response if the US doesn’t keep its commitments. The US sanctions have violated the nuclear deal by obstructing Iran’s economic relations with other countries, Rouhani said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Iran’s external policy aims to ease tensions with Washington and keep peace with other countries. He said Washington cannot prevent Tehran from benefiting from the JCPOA, and the US will have to pay for ending the deal. Analysts say that behind the sanctions lie a US ambition to change the Iranian regime.