Iran’s Rouhani Urges Obama To Let Sanctions Expire

By Times Headline Writer

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani urged President Barack Obama not to sign an extension of U.S. sanctions against Tehran, calling the bill a violation of the Iran nuclear deal. He also warned the U.S. of a “prompt response” if the sanctions were extended.

U.S. senators overwhelmingly voted Thursday to extend U.S. sanctions on Iran for ten more years. The bill was then sent to Obama who is expected to sign the bill targeting Tehran’s energy, military and banking sectors, the White House said Friday.

The bill, which if not extended will expire Dec. 31, was first put in place in 1996 and has since been extended and added to. While the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran, U.S. and six other world powers lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, Washington still maintains its personal set of sanctions.

Rouhani, during an open session of Iran’s parliament Sunday, said Obama was “obliged” to let the sanctions expire.

“We are committed to an acceptable implementation of the deal but in response to non-commitment, violation or hesitation in its implementation, we will act promptly,” he reportedly said.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said: “The U.S. president has agreed within the framework of the nuclear deal that he would use his authority to prevent the legislation and enforcement of any measures in violation of the deal, such as the recent act by the Congress.”

White House, however, does not believe the sanctions will affect the nuclear pact.

“We believe the Iran Sanctions Act extension is not necessary, but we also believe it won’t interfere with the Iran deal,” spokesman Eric Schultz reportedly said Friday.

Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Friday of Iran’s potential response to the extension of sanctions: “We will definitely make no emotional decisions but will make a decision based on prudence, vigilance and wisdom.”