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Iran vows 'appropriate' response to US sanctions

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian Foreign Ministry building

Iran says the US Congress' vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another decade violates last year's nuclear accord, adding Tehran will take "appropriate measures" against the decision.    

The extension passed the Senate on Thursday, after easily clearing the House of Representatives last month, with a White House official saying President Barack Obama is expected to sign the measure.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Friday Tehran "is carefully monitoring the US government behavior in regard" to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which prohibits new sanctions on the country.     

The ministry, he said, is about to "present a complete report to the supervisory committee on implementation of the nuclear accord in order to make a decision and take appropriate measures."

"As repeatedly stated by high-ranking Iranian officials, the recent bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate to renew sanctions against Iran is against the JCPOA and US obligations under international law not to interfere in domestic and international affairs of other countries," he said. 

The ISA was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran over its nuclear program but all outstanding issues were resolved between Iran and the US as well as other countries last year. 

"Under the JCPOA, the president of the United States has undertaken to use his prerogatives to prevent the implementation of measures against the JCPOA, including the recent Congress bill," Qassemi said. 

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said last month that if the sanctions were extended, Iran would definitely respond to it. 

"Iran has shown its commitment to its international agreements, but it has also made all appropriate projections for any possible scenario," Qassemi said on Friday.

Tehran, he said, has made "necessary preparations to effectively, strongly and prudently protect the rights of the Iranian people under any circumstances." 

A senior lawmaker said Iran's parliament is weighing a series of measures in response to the US Congress.

Bahrouz Nemati, spokesman for parliament’s presiding board, said some 220 lawmakers have prepared a resolution which condemns US extension of the sanctions. 

A two-starred motion on prohibiting US-made products is also moving through the chamber for approval, Nemati added.

The parliament is expected to take other counter-measures against the ISA extension which he did not specify. 

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