Sunday Dec 29, 201302:19 PM GMT
New US sanctions will halt Geneva nuclear deal: Araqchi

An Iranian nuclear negotiator says any fresh sanctions by the US would halt the interim deal reached between Iran and the six major world powers in Geneva.

Iran Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday that if the US Congress passes into law any new anti-Iran sanctions bills, it would without a doubt bring the “Geneva negotiations and the implementation of its agreement to a halt.”

He pointed to a new bill drafted by Iranian lawmakers to raise the uranium enrichment level in Iran to 60 percent, saying, “This is an idea which has been brought up in Majlis and naturally, whatever Majlis passes and becomes law…will be binding for us. This is a decision for Majlis to make.”

On December 25, Iranian lawmakers drafted a bill that, if passed, would oblige the government to produce 60-percent enriched uranium in line with the requirements of the nation’s civilian nuclear program.

The draft bill comes as key members of the US Congress have recently introduced a bill which proposes boycotting Iranian oil exports within a year and blacklisting Iran's mining, engineering and construction industries.

Araqchi further stated that expert-level talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain, and the US -- plus Germany would resume in Geneva on Monday and will only last for one day.

Iran and the six major world powers sealed an interim nuclear agreement in Geneva on November 24. Under the Geneva deal, the six world powers agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.

It was also agreed that no more sanctions would be imposed on Iran within this timeframe.

SF/HGH/SS

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