TEHRAN, Nov. 23 (UPI) — Ayatollah Khamenei warned the United States on Wednesday that Iran would be forced to retaliate if sanctions are extended, which it said is a violation of the Iranian nuclear deal.
“The current U.S. government has breached the nuclear deal in many occasions,” the supreme leader said to a gathering of members of the Revolutionary Guards. “The latest is extension of sanctions for 10 years, that if it happens, would surely be against [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and the Islamic Republic would definitely react to it.”
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed 419-1 to re-authorize the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years.
The ISA, which was initially imposed in 1996 to prevent investments into Iran’s energy industry and prevent the nation from seeking nuclear weapons, is due to expire at the end of the year, unless it passes the Senate and is signed into law by outgoing President Barack Obama.
As part of the the Iranian nuclear deal, all sanctions imposed by the United States, United Nations Security Council and the European Union against Iran were to be dropped if Iran limits nuclear capabilities to civilian needs.
Iran’s leader said the United States is using the nuclear deal to exert pressure on Iran again.
“The incumbent [U.S.] administration’s actions are contrary to what it has undertaken under the JCPOA and to the joint decisions,” Iran’s leader said.
President-elect Donald Trump has criticized the nuclear deal during his campaign, vowing to “rip up” the agreement upon election.
Khamenei then said Iran would “set fire” to the deal if Trump acted on his campaign threats.