Publishe Date: 5:38 PM - 12/17/2013 | Print

Iran: New Sanctions Kill Geneva Deal

Politics - Iran warned on Tuesday that any new sanction against Tehran by the signatories of the Geneva agreement will kill the long-awaited nuclear deal between the two sides.

“One of the key issues mentioned in the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement) under the title of the other sides’ commitments is avoiding imposition of new sanctions,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters in Tehran today.

“We have announced before that any action to impose new sanctions means the death of the Joint Plan of Action and we hope that the other sides will be serious about protection and commitment to the Joint Plan of Action, protect the spirit ruling the Plan and adopt constructive measures to implement it,” she added.

Elsewhere, Afkham referred to the European Union’s statement on its readiness to ease some anti-Iran sanctions, and expressed the hope that the EU’s words would turn into action so that the Union could comply with its undertakings in implementing the Joint Plan of Action.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent United Nations Security Council members sealed the six-month Joint Plan of Action to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

In exchange for Tehran’s confidence-building bid to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the Sextet of world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran and continue talks with the country to settle all problems between the two sides.

Iran and the six world powers (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany) had an expert meeting in Vienna, Austria, on December 9. The negotiations were scheduled to continue until December 13, but the Iranian negotiators cut short the talks and returned to Iran in protest at the US breach of the Geneva agreement by blacklisting a dozen companies and individuals for evading Washington’s sanctions.

On Monday night, US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to soothe Tehran’s anger over Washington’s fresh sanctions in a phone call to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Speaking to reporters after the phone conversation between the two top diplomats, Afkham said, “The phone call was initiated by the US secretary of state.”

Afkham told reporters that during the phone talk "he (Kerry) was informed of Iran’s dissatisfaction with the trend of the experts' plan and the details of the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement)”.

Also in a Monday meeting, foreign ministers of the 28-nation EU expressed support for the deal reached on November 24 in Geneva as "a long-awaited signal of the commitment of all sides to build trust and reduce tensions" over Iran’s nuclear program.

"A swift implementation of the voluntary measures by all sides is now a key," the EU ministers said in their statement.

"Iran has to implement its commitments in good faith. For its part, the (EU) Council is committed to take the necessary steps and to suspend those EU sanctions as set out in the Joint Plan of Action,” they added.

According to the statement, sanctions will be suspended after inspectors from the IAEA verify the implementation of nuclear-related measures by Iran.

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