Iran vows retaliation over United States sanctions

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Issuing designations for 14 individuals and entities, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. will not stand by while the Iranian regime continues to engage in human rights abuses and injustice.

The foreign ministry vowed to retaliate, but did not say what form any action might take.

"Trump's declaration puts great pressure on Britain, France and Germany, the European signatories to nuclear pact with Iran".

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday U.S. President Donald Trump's latest attacks on the nuclear deal were a "desperate effort" to undermine an accord that can not be renegotiated.

Iran on Saturday slammed the Trump Administration's latest move to rewrite the 2015 nuclear agreement and slapping of sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities, saying the global deal is non-negotiable."Iran will not move beyond its commitments in Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and will accept no change in the letter and spirit of the nuclear accord", the Iranian foreign ministry said in statement.

His last condition linked the nuclear deal to Iran's missile program.

MCEVERS: What are the new sanctions that Trump's Treasury Department is imposing, and do they violate the existing deal?

The decision to waive sanctions did not come easy, and required the urging of the president's top diplomatic and security advisers, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and the US's top allies, including European diplomats who flew into Washington to reiterate their view that suspending sanctions was uncalled for because Iran was complying with the deal.

It's also clear - as we have seen recently via the protests in 80 or so Iranian cities - that little or none of these billions were spent on the Iranian people themselves. "JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, USA must bring itself into full compliance-just like Iran", Zarif added, using the technical name for the 2015 nuclear deal.

Under the hard-won 2015 deal with Russian Federation, the US, China, France, Britain, Germany and the EU, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for lifting of a raft of global sanctions.

Trump alleged that Iranian regime is the world s leading state sponsor of terror and enables Hezbollah, Hamas, and many other terrorists to sow chaos and kill innocent people.

He has called this "the last chance" for the agreement.

Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, added that the demands were a "desperate attempt" to undermine the deal.

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What is the nuclear deal?

The president revoked a 2012 presidential executive order that slapped sanctions on companies that purchased oil from Iran, conducted transactions with its national oil company or helped Iran buy previous metals and US banknotes.

The meeting in Brussels was choreographed to send a message to Washington before Trump is due to decide whether to re-impose oil sanctions lifted under the deal.

"So Trump now has issued an explicit May deadline to Congress and Europeans", said Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C. -based think tank.

The president is designating 14 Iranian individuals and entities with new sanctions unrelated to the nuclear deal, including the head of 's judiciary, a senior administration official said.

Trump on Friday gave an ultimatum to "either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

The president wants Congress to modify a law that reviews USA participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

"The idea is they [should] never expire", a senior administration official, speaking anonymously, said of the restrictions in briefing reporters ahead of the announcement.

The biggest name included in the new sanctions was Sadeq Larijani, head of the Iranian judiciary and brother of Ali Larijani, who is speaker of the Iranian parliament.

This would not entail negotiations with Iran but would be the result of talks with European allies, the official said.

What have other countries said?

A new round of USA sanctions expected against Moscow is an attempt to influence Russia's domestic affairs ahead of a presidential election, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Saturday. Trump has said that the nuclear deal, which he called the "worst deal in history", was flawed in part because it did not address missile development.

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