Iran once again defied previous agreement with the Obama administration to drastically scale back its nuclear programs, a U.S. official told Fox News on Sunday.
“Iran again rejected what we negotiated and objected to certain terms,” the official said, speaking anonymously to discuss a sensitive diplomatic issue.
The words delivered from Washington come a day after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s aviation and steel industries to punish it for its ballistic missile development and alleged support for terrorism.
“Iran violated every single one of the restrictions on its nuclear activities — not for the first time,” President Trump said Friday in announcing the sanctions. “They’ve been violating them for years, and now I’m starting to pull them back.”
But just two weeks ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Iran would not be sanctioned for two months as they negotiated in New York.
But in the past 24 hours, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions for Iran’s ballistic missile development, over Iran’s human rights abuses and for what it alleged was the government’s support for the Syrian regime.
Iran’s ambassador to the U.N. said Sunday that the deal and sanctions weren’t a “legitimate agreement” and said the U.S. is searching for reasons to abandon it.
The Trump administration is going back on a deal that is backed by the UN, the U.S. Congress and multiple U.S. presidents and diplomats, a senior Iranian official said Monday.
“If the U.S. continues to seek the catastrophic move of abandoning the deal, it will create a new situation and it will be no more than a kind of battle in a free-for-all,” Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, deputy head of the Supreme National Security Council, said in a statement.
The Islamic Republic believes this U.S. walk back is an “unprecedented” violation of the deal, which “recognizes Iranian activities,” he said.
“Let me make one thing clear to the U.S.: for you, every concession is a sign of weakness, and your increasing groundless accusations of violations can be attributed to the condition you are in,” the deputy head of the highest security body in Iran said.
The “irreversible” step by the U.S. threatens stability in the region, Tabatabaei said.
The deputy head of a legal body in Iran’s parliament said Sunday that Tehran would halt the sale of heavy water to the U.S. or it will sell the heavy water abroad.
He expressed hope that negotiations between Iran and the U.S. would be “lifted.”
But with the Islamic Republic, as with a number of countries, the actual language of the agreements is never up for public scrutiny and so it can be very difficult to know what is going on in the ayatollah’s mind.
Trump withdrew from the deal in May and the European allies and Russia and China all remain signatories to the agreement, but the president said Iran is violating it.
The European Union is working to re-write sanctions against Iran.
According to the administration, Iran has violated the deal by testing an intercontinental ballistic missile and developing longer-range missiles that can carry more than 500 kilos of weapons to their targets.
The U.S. also alleges Iran refuses to curtail its military intervention in Syria.
When asked about a European-Chinese attempt to re-write the deal, a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Maybe it could work.
“We’re skeptical. We’re watching,” the official said.