Iran official: New U.S. sanctions would bring 'harsh' response

By Allen Cone  |  Oct. 9, 2017 at 12:44 PM
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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An Iran foreign ministry official said Monday Tehran would respond in a "harsh" and "decisive" manner to any new sanctions from the United States -- or if Washington designates Iran's security force as a terrorist organization.

The Trump administration is reportedly considering decertifying Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact next week, at which time Congress could impose sanctions.

"I do hope that the U.S. governing body would refrain from making the same strategic mistake [by imposing further sanctions on Iran], but if they move toward this decision, Iran's response would be decisive and harsh," Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters Monday. "I believe that the U.S. has to accept all the consequences of that decision."

Ghasemi cited support among some European governments for Tehran's position on the issue.

"We should wait and take decisions based on what will unfold in the future," he said. "What is clear at this moment is that European governments have voiced strong opposition against U.S. unilateral policies, and based on what they have told us, they will continue their cooperation with Iran."

Ghasemi said Iran would not renegotiate its missile defense program -- which was not in violation of United Nation's Resolution 2231, a document that endorsed the landmark nuclear deal.

U.S. officials have said Iran is in "technical compliance" with the agreement -- but is in default of the "spirit" of the agreement by engaging in missile activities and meddling in regional countries affairs.

Trump, in an interview that aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network over the weekend, said, "I can tell you I'm very unhappy with the [Iran] deal... They're literally causing trouble, predominantly in the Middle East. I believe they're funding North Korea."

"One of the new U.S. administration's strategic mistakes is that it makes irrelevant comments without the necessary knowledge and prudence, ... which I think will ultimately be detrimental to the interests of the American people and government," Qassemi said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafar, chief commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Sunday if the U.S. designates his organization as a terrorist group, Iran would consider putting a similar designation on U.S. forces in West Asia.

In July, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on entities and people for supporting the IRGC after it launched a rocket capable of carrying a satellite into space. The organization as a whole is not designated as a terrorist group, however.

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