Iranian President Hassan Rohani says that Tehran would "respond appropriately" to new U.S. sanctions while reiterating that his country remained committed to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran will always stick to its international commitments," Rohani said at a July 19 cabinet meeting, according to a text posted on the government’s website.
Rohani spoke a day after the United States announced sanctions against 18 individuals and entities connected with Iran's ballistic-missile program and other military activities.
The new sanctions were imposed a after Washington certified that Iran was complying with the 2015 deal, which imposed limits on Tehran nuclear actitivities in exchange for sanctions relief.
The deal does not require the United States to lift sanctions that are not related to Iran's nuclear activities, but Rohani said some of the U.S. actions are against the “spirit” of the accord.
“We shall resist these plans and actions,” he said.
"One of the plots of the Americans is to act in such a way that would make Iran say that it is not following its commitments.... I think the Americans will fail as we will always respect our international commitments," Rohani asserted.
On July 18, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused U.S. President Donald Trump's administration of trying to "poison the atmosphere” by imposing new sanctions despite the certfcation of Iran's compliance with the deal.
The White House contends that it is Iran that is breaching the spirit of the deal through its actions, including tests of missiles that Washington says can carry nuclear warheads.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on July 18 that the United States “will continue to aggressively target Iran's malign activity, including their ongoing state support of terrorism, ballistic-missile program, and human rights abuses.”
With reporting by AFP and Reuters