McCain: Iran sanctions bill 'very likely'
Iran Press TV
Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:49PM GMT
US Senator John McCain says the Senate is "very likely" to pass a new sanctions bill against Iran despite a deal that the US, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany - the so-called P5+1 group of countries, reached with Iran over its nuclear program on November 24 in Geneva.
"I think that it's very likely that we could have a sanctions bill, which would take effect at the end of six months if there is no result in the negotiations, is I think what it would be," the Arizona Republican said on CNN's "State of the Union."
McCain also said that he disagreed with US Secretary of State John Kerry over Iran's right to enrichment uranium. "He (Kerry) thinks that the agreement states that basically the Iranians maintain the right to enrich. I don't think that that should be the case after their lying and cheating and concealing for all of these years."
"The centrifuges keep spinning, the - there can still be quote, construction around the facility at Arak. So we are now pausing when they are continuing - we're easing sanctions while they're continuing a lot of their activities."
Iran says it has an inherent right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes as part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) to which it is a signatory. Tehran also says that the right must be part of any deal over its nuclear program.
During a Senate hearing last week, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the recent deal. He urged lawmakers to hold off on new sanctions legislation against Iran.
The US administration, however; on Thursday imposed new sanctions against a number of Iranian companies and individuals claiming that they are linked to Iran's nuclear activities.
Angered by the move, Iran called the new US sanctions counterproductive which may derail the agreement. Tehran said they "violated the spirit of the Geneva deal".
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said "We are evaluating the situation and Iran will react accordingly to the new sanctions imposed on 19 companies and individuals. It is against the spirit of the Geneva deal."
The head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said the new US sanctions are "definitely a violation" of Geneva deal and they may foster the idea that "the United States cannot be trusted."
"The recent action of the Americans also shows that they are not independent in their policies and merely follow the Zionist lobbies," Boroujerdi said.
Russia on Friday shared Iran's criticism against the new sanctions.
'The US administration's decision goes against the spirit of this document,' Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. 'Widening American 'blacklists' could seriously complicate the fulfillment of the Geneva agreement, which proposes easing the sanctions regime,' Zakharova said in a statement.
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