Still no indication of any Iranian action with substantive effect after US Congress passes latest restrictions on Tehran
UPDATE 1200 GMT: Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani says Iran has lodged a complaint with the UN Security Council over the new US sanctions on Tehran.
Iran has declared that a committee chaired by President Hassan Rouhani will develop counter-measures to challenge new US sanctions on Tehran.
The regime announced on Monday that the committee was preparing an “intelligent, appropriate, and powerful response”, as it declared that the latest American restrictions violate Washington’s obligations to the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia).
Citing Iran’s ballistic missile tests, alleged support of “terrorism”, and human rights record, the US Congress confirmed the sanctions package, which also includes measures against Russia and North Korea, last Thursday. It is expected to be signed by Donald Trump this week.
Iranian officials have issued a series of declarations over the past week — including by Rouhani, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and the Supreme Leader’s top aide Ali Akbar Velayati — promising the response. A Parliamentary committee has convened to make recommendations for adoption by the Majlis.
However, Iran has given no indications of any steps that would have a substantive effect. Instead, statements have asserted Tehran’s military strength and declared that the Iranian nation will defy and defeat the sanctions, as it has done since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
The new US sanctions are a further blow to implementation of the nuclear agreement, which the Rouhani Government has hoped would lead to economic recovery after years of decline amid American-led pressure and mismanagement. Washington has maintained measures hindering investment, trade, and the Iranian banking and financial sectors, with European companies wary of renewing links with Tehran for fear of US punishment.
But Velayati asserted on Sunday that the US would be the “main loser” as its steps drew Tehran and Moscow closer together:
The value of mutual relations between Iran and Russia will become more evident after the [imposition of] sanctions and these relations will become deeper and stronger.
The deputy head of Iran’s armed forces said that the US and Europe were criticizing the latest test of a rocket, designed to carry a satellite, because “they cannot tolerate the Islamic Republic’s great advances”.
Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri explained, “From our point of view, the approach taken by the US and a number of European countries is completely worthless and will have no impact on the trend of our progress.”