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Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

State Dept. Extends Partial Iran Sanctions Relief, Adds New Penalties

State Dept. Extends Partial Iran Sanctions Relief, Adds New Penalties

A senior Iranian official says by pushing for inspections of Iran's military sites, the U.S. is actively seeking undermine the nuclear deal between Tehran and world countries, including Washington itself.

He added the republic "has merely acted within the framework of agreements and specific guidelines under the JCPOA (nuclear deal) and shall not accept any obligation beyond that".

Senior administration officials said the move was meant to signal a willingness to confront Iran over behavior it finds to be out of sync with the deal, despite the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations group assigned to monitor the deal, indicating that Iran has been in compliance. However, the watchdog's director-general confirmed Iran's compliance with the pact.

"...the issue of access to military sites has become an unnecessary and closed case", he stressed. "The US should stop using sanctions as a tool in its foreign policy, and engage in interaction with the world".

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is "not (re) negotiable", saying that "a "better" deal is pure fantasy". "We must take into account the totality of Iranian threats, not just Iran's nuclear capabilities".

"Certainly at a minimum the spirit of the deal is atrociously kept".

"We are not going to stand for what they are doing", Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Trump's choice of words was nothing new.

Such an "unconstructive" attitude, which is meant to "actively undermine the global agreement", would further tarnish the United States standing in the world, and would certainly be met with Iran's proportionate response, he added.

Struck by the previous administration under Barack Obama, the landmark deal has consistently come under fire from Trump, who labeled it "the worst deal ever".

The United States is expected Thursday to announce that it will extend sanctions relief for Iran under the landmark nuclear deal struck with world powers in 2015, according to USA media reports, though a decision by President Donald Trump on whether to ultimately preserve the deal has not yet been made.

However, Washington's lobbying failed to affect the IAEA's latest quarterly report in late August, which once again that Iran has lived up to its commitments under the nuclear deal.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department imposed financial penalties against 11 individuals and companies accused of aiding Iran's nuclear activities.

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