Iran’s officials have lashed out at the US blacklisting of 19 additional Iranian companies and individuals for alleged support of Tehran’s nuclear program.
However, contrary to headlines in mainstream media, Tehran has not suspended the implementation of the interim nuclear deal signed on November 24 in Geneva.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, Tehran’s lead nuclear negotiator, said on Friday that Iran would “react accordingly” to the blacklisting, as it was “against the spirit of the Geneva deal”.
But he did not indicate any suspension of the process, which included four-day technical talks in Vienna and the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency to Tehran this week.
Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaei, joined the criticism of Washington, “Such moves can, at this juncture, have serious negative consequences on the trend of the negotiations.”
Some of the sharpest comments came from the Chairman of Parliament’s National Security Committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who denounced “the flagrant violation of the Geneva nuclear accord” and said “US officials revealed that they are not trustworthy”.
Boroujerdi said Iran “should expedite our peaceful [nuclear] activities”.
The MP did not say if Tehran should maintain enrichment of 20% uranium, a process it has promised to suspend under the six-month interim nuclear agreement.
On Thursday, the US Treasury announced the 19 additions to its blacklist for claimed assistance to Iran’s nuclear activities. However, Congress pulled back from legislation which would have mandated new sanctions if Iran was found to be in violation of the terms of interim deal.
Supreme Leader’s Representative Criticizes Foreign Minister Zarif Over Remarks
The Supreme Leader’s representative to the Revolutionary Guards, Yadollah Javani, has joined Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari in criticism of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The catalyst for the rebuke was Zarif’s reported remark that two US bombs could knock out Iran’s defense system.
These are the words of a non-specialist, perhaps due to the lack of familiarity with military and defense topics.
The reality is that Americans have not militarily threatened any country the size of Iran in the past 34 years….
Iran is able to strike reciprocally under any conditions, meaning that if Americans make an error, Iran will have both the motivation and will necessary to respond in the shortest amount of time. Our defense and missile capabilities are to the extent that a significant radius of US and Zionist interests in the region will be seriously attacked.
President Joins Space Monkey Celebrations
Iran has successfully sent a monkey into space on a satellite and returned it to earth safely:
— Johan Wicklén (@johanwicklen) December 14, 2013
In total, this is the 2nd monkey sent into space & returned in perfect health to #Iran. I congratulate the Leader, scientists & the nation
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) December 14, 2013
Iran Claims Capture of British Spy
Iranian authorities say they have captured a spy working for Britain’s intelligence agency MI6 in the southeastern city of Kerman.
The head of Kerman’s Revolutionary Court said the man had admitted being in contact with four British intelligence officers 11 times, both inside and outside the Islamic Republic.
He said the accused had confessed and a trial was under way.
The news comes as Iran and Britain re-build diplomatic relations after the closure of the British Embassy following its storming by a crowd in November 2011. London responded by expelling Iranian diplomatic staff from the United Kingdom.
Iran’s non-resident envoy to the UK made his first visit to London this week.
Iran’s Oil Exports Improve in November From Historic Low
The International Energy Agency said preliminary estimates indicate that Iran’s oil exports increased by 89,000 barrels per day in November, reaching 850,000 bpd.
The October figure of 761,000 bpd was among the lowest in the Islamic Republic’s history, down about 65% from Iran’s sales at the start of 2012.
The November incrrease is credited to a rise in imports by China and a resumption of shipments to Taiwan.