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Iran vows to respond to US sanctions violating nuclear deal
[TEHRAN] Iran will respond to any new US sanctions that violate the terms of the nuclear deal with countersteps, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
If the US wants "to implement sanctions under any pretext or excuse, the Iranian nation will respond accordingly," he said in comments broadcast on state television.
"When it comes to congressional legislation, our parliament will approve corresponding measures."
Mr Rouhani's intervention came after the Trump administration again made public its willingness to confront Iran and the 2015 accord that scaled back its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. The US on Monday affirmed that the Islamic Republic has continued to meet the agreement's conditions - as required every three months - but hours later imposed new sanctions to punish what it called Iran's persistent efforts to destabilise the Middle East.
The steps, Mr Rouhani said, were evidence that Mr Trump wanted to provoke Iran into reneging on its obligations under the nuclear accord, which has enabled his nation to ramp up oil exports and attract foreign investment.
"This is a recent conspiracy that the Americans have planned and it's my belief that it will never succeed," he said.
In Iran's view, the US isn't living up to its end of the bargain. By pressing businesses not to work with Iran, officials in Tehran say, the Trump government is undermining the accord's objective of supporting normalised trade with the Persian Gulf nation.
The five other deal signatories, which include the UK, France and Russia, have continued to back the landmark foreign policy success of the Obama presidency.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iran's compliance with the accord, has found that it has largely met its obligations.
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Monday that his country's vow not to seek nuclear weapons "never expires'.
Still, he cautioned that Iran would withdraw from the accord in the event of a "major violation" on the part of the US He didn't say what would qualify.