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Iran first VP vows strong resistance against US economic war

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 First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri says the upcoming US move to re-impose sanctions on Iran will create "difficult conditions" for the country but the Islamic Republic will forcefully resist against the United States' economic war.

"Given the enemy's economic war, we will face new and difficult conditions and must stand against this war with full power," Jahangiri said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Trump also said he plans to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Since the US president pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.

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Jahangiri said after the US "unilateral" withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, the remaining signatories to the deal vowed to remain committed to their obligations but they must take practical measures in this regard.

Tehran has conditioned its stay in the deal to practical European strides to make sure Iran’s dividends from the deal would not be affected when US sanctions "snap back" in August.

The first group of sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector, gold trade, and other industries will “snap back” on August 4. Further sanctions on oil and transactions with the central bank of Iran will come into effect November 6.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that all the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement have political will to stand up to the United States' move to withdraw from the deal.

However, he warned that if the European sides failed to properly fulfill their commitments, Iran would take its own measures to counter the US withdrawal from the JCPOA.

Jahangiri further said the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are seeking to exert economic pressure on the Iranian people to achieve their own goals, calling on the Iranian nation and officials to adopt an appropriate approach to counter their plot.

He stressed that Iran would be able to thwart the US plans through resistance and careful planning.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that the three major European signatories to the JCPOA agreed to establish trade ties with Iran independent of the US dollar.

Lavrov said the decision by France, Germany and Britain would mainly concern small and medium-sized companies, adding that the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal have agreed to work out measures to protect the countries’ businesses from US sanctions.

Speaking at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, a spokeswoman for Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, said her country would continue efforts to safeguard the achievements of the JCPOA, saying it has put forward a five-point proposal in this regard.

"Facing the complicated and stern situation at present, China clearly put up a five-point proposal emphasizing in particular that international rules should be observed, major countries should show their due integrity and sense of responsibility, unilateral sanctions can only run counter to one's desire and should be abandoned, and dialogs and consultations should adhered to a constructive approach in discussions about issues of common concerns," Hua said.

Jahangiri also pointed to trade tensions between Washington and many of its main trading partners and said, "The US has also launched an economic war with other countries, including China, and seeks to put pressure on its allies to win their support for confrontation with Iran."

The Iranian veep warned that the US seeks to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero and said, "We have drawn up appropriate plans in the face of this issue and the opposite side's claims and are holding negotiations to prevent any obstacle in the way of Iran's oil exports."

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Swiss counterpart, Alain Berset, in Bern on July 3, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at American officials for threatening to stop Iran's oil exports, saying they would never be able to carry out such a threat.

"The US [officials'] statement in this regard is unilateralism…and a breach of all international rules and regulations in energy and trade sectors," Rouhani said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian vice president warned against the enemy's plans to target the country's banking system and noted that Tehran has adopted joint strategies with Russia and China to help it transfer money.

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