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Iran Says Extension Of Sanctions Act Discredits U.S.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Prague in November 11

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarid says the extension of sanctions legislation by the U.S. Congress for 10 years discredits the United States and shows the world that Washington cannot be relied upon.

Tehran has said that the extension, approved unanimously on December 1, is a “violation” of the nuclear deal reached between Tehran and world powers last year.

Speaking on December 3 upon arrival in India for an official visit, Zarif was quoted as saying that the extension “shows the lack of credibility of the U.S. government."

The bill now goes to the White House where U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

“Even if the U.S. president signs the sanctions bill, it will not affect Iran's relations with the world,” Zarif was quoted as saying by state media.

U.S. officials have said they've determined that the legislation does not violate the agreement that curbed Iran's controversial nuclear program.

But Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said the extension is a “clear violation” if implemented.

Salehi said last week Iran will carefully consider how to respond.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned last month that Tehran will retaliate if the U.S. renews sanctions.

"The latest is an extension of sanctions for 10 years, that if it happens, would surely be against the [nuclear deal] and the Islamic republic would definitely react to it," Khamenei warned on November 23.

Based on reporting by IRNA, Reuters, and AP