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August 16, 2016 2:01 pm

Iranian President Rouhani Lauds Nuclear Deal for ‘Destroying’ Basis for Sanctions

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (left) and President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikipedia.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (left) and President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Wikipedia.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lauded the nuclear deal for destroying the basis for the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, the regime-aligned news agency Tasnim reported on Monday.

According to the report, in a speech he gave earlier in the day, Rouhani said that from the outset of the nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers — which resulted in the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a year ago in July — he “urged” his country’s negotiators to ensure that the causes for the sanctions be eliminated.

These “foundations,” as he referred to them, included the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program — an obstacle that was indeed removed, Tasnim said, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report clearing Tehran of PMD suspicions.

Rouhani also hailed UN Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA, calling it “unprecedented” and pointing to the termination by the Security Council of six previous anti-Iran resolutions.

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Though Iran’s goals were achieved in the JCPOA, Rouhani said, “We should remain vigilant against the conspiracies of the enemies” — a veiled allusion to recent threats by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, echoed by commanders of the Iranian army, navy and Revolutionary Guard Corps, that if the current or next United States administration does not fulfill its obligations under the JCPOA, there will be consequences.

Rouhani’s comments come on the heels of a controversy in the United States surrounding the Obama administration’s transfer of $400 million in foreign cash to Tehran on the day that four American citizens were released from Iranian captivity. Obama continues to deny that the covert transaction constituted the payment of ransom for hostages, claiming instead that it was part of the money owed Iran in assets unfrozen by the nuclear deal.

In his March 3, 2015 address to the US Congress — three months before the JCPOA was signed — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the deal on the table made “two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade.”

“That’s why this deal is so bad,” he said. “It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

Netanyahu continued:

Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?

Why should Iran’s radical regime change for the better when it can enjoy the best of both world’s: aggression abroad, prosperity at home?…

…If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare…

A few months after Netanyahu voiced his strong objections to the lifting of sanctions, which he argued could not be re-imposed — and less than a month after signing the JCPOA — Obama assured a gathering at the American University in Washington, DC: “If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the UN Security Council; America can trigger snapback on our own.”

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