Iran will not accept any extension of sanctions beyond 10 years, an official said on Wednesday, in the latest attempt by its pragmatist government to sell a nuclear deal with world powers to sceptical hardliners.
Abbas Araqchi, one of several deputy foreign ministers, also told a news conference that Iran would do ‘anything’ to help allies in the Middle East, underlining Tehran’s message that despite the deal Iran will not change its anti-Western foreign policy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, told supporters on Saturday that US policies in the region were ‘180 degrees’ opposed to Iran’s, in a Tehran speech punctuated by chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’.
Under the accord, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on its nuclear work in return for the lifting of US, European Union and UN sanctions. The deal was signed by the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the EU.
The accord was a major success for both US President Barack Obama and Iran’s pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani. But both leaders have to promote it at home to influential hardliners in countries that have been enemies for decades.
Araqchi, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator said that any attempt to re-impose sanctions after they expired in 10 years would breach the deal. He was referring to a resolution endorsing the deal passed by the UN Security Council on Monday.
The resolution allows all UN sanctions to be re-imposed if Iran violates the agreement in the next 10 years. If Iran adheres to the terms of the agreement, all the provisions and measures of the UN resolution would end in 10 years.
Iran’s foreign ministry said shortly after the passage of the resolution on Monday that the nuclear deal did not mean Tehran accepted ‘sanctions and restrictions imposed by the UNSC, the US, the EU or member countries.”
“Whenever it’s needed to send arms to our allies in the region, we will do so. We are not ashamed of it,” Araqchi said.
US ‘will do everything possible’
US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday said he and others in Congress would do ‘everything possible’ to stop a new nuclear deal with Iran from moving forward.
“Members of Congress will ask much tougher questions this afternoon when we meet with the president’s team, and because a bad deal threatens the security of the American people, we’re going to do everything possible to stop it,” Boehner told reporters.