Hillary Clinton calls for new sanctions on Iran

US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the Electric Park Ballroom on January 11, 2016 in Waterloo, Iowa. (AFP photo)

Leading US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for new sanctions on the Iranian nation for its ballistic missile program.

Clinton made the remarks in a statement issued shortly after President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting US economic sanctions on Iran on Saturday.

Obama’s move came after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran has implemented its commitments made in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and announced to remove international economic sanctions against the country.

Iran and the P5+1 - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany - finalized the text of the JCPOA in Vienna, Austria, on July 14, 2015.

Under the agreement, limits are put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.

On Saturday, Clinton praised Obama for implementing the nuclear agreement with Iran, but added that all concerns about the Islamic Republic are not addressed.

“Iran is still violating UN Security Council resolutions with its ballistic missile program, which should be met with new sanctions designations and firm resolve,” she said.

Clinton said if elected president, her policy toward Iran would be to “distrust and verify.”

The former secretary of state said the nuclear deal marks an “important achievement of diplomacy” between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries.

“Implementation marks an important step forward in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” she said.

The illegal sanctions on Iran had been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran has always rejected the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

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