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December 14, 2016 4:11 pm

Top Khamenei Adviser: Iran to Take Additional Steps in Response to US Extension of Sanctions

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Ali Akbar Velayti. Photo: Alchetron.

Ali Akbar Velayti. Photo: Alchetron.

The Islamic Republic is planning additional moves in response to the US Congress’ approval of a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), a senior adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Wednesday, according to the semi-official state news agency Mehr.

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered the development of nuclear-powered warships and the filing of a legal complaint to the international committee supervising the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Ali Akbar Velayati declared that these “marked Iran’s first reactions, though they will not be our final step.”

Earlier this month, as reported by The Algemeiner, a senior Iranian cleric told worshipers in Tehran that “now is the time for retaliation,” following the backing given by the US House of Representatives and the Senate to the ISA extension, which now awaits outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature. Iranian regime officials have called the ISA extension a “violation” of the nuclear deal — a characterization the Obama administration disputes.

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Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani — according to the semi-official state news agency Fars — said on Dec. 2, “[The Americans] should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show serious reaction against it.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner two weeks ago, Behnam Ben Taleblu — senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) think tank in Washington, DC — said top Iranian officials — including Khamenei — were trying to “blackmail” the US into making further concessions.

Last month, Ilan Berman — vice president of the DC-based American Foreign Policy Council think tank — told The Algemeiner that Iran feared it could be the “big loser” from Donald Trump’s election victory over Hillary Clinton.

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