FM spox:

US new sanctions to evoke Iran’s harsh response

News ID: 4108885 -
TEHRAN, Oct. 09 (MNA) – While hoping that Trump administration would refrain from imposing new sanctions on Iran, FM Spokesman Ghasemi stressed that Iran’s response would be ‘harsh’ and ‘decisive’ in the face of further sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi made the remarks in his weekly press conference on Mon. while asked to comment about IRGC chief’s warning against Washington’s new sanctions on Iran under the pretext of the country’s missile program and ‘supporting terrorism’.

IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said Sunday that if the US designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group, Iran, too, would consider American army present in West Asia as the ISIL terrorist group.

The foreign ministry spokesman went on to add, “I do hope that the US 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.”

“I believe that the US has to accept all the consequences of that decision,” he added, while hoping that Washington would not go ahead with that measure. 

The Trump administration has certified Iran’s compliance to the nuclear deal twice before, but speculations say the US president will decide to decertify Iran’s compliance in his Oct. 15 report to the Congress - a move that could set up Congress to impose sanctions on Iran that violate the agreement.

About the country’s stance toward Trump’s ‘decertification’ of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, Ghasemi said he would rather not talk about something that has not happened yet and is merely speculation.

“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 US unilateral policies, and based on what they have told us, they will continue their cooperation with Iran.”

He went on to stress great caution while considering international and foreign policy issues. 

Elsewhere, he was asked to comment on Turkey’s recent operation in Syria’s Idlib, saying “we raised the issue at the sixth round of Astana peace process and made good progress. Expert talks on the case is under evaluation and I think we can reach better results at the seventh round to be held in the second half of October. 

Ghasemi stressed that Iran’s position toward Syria is shared by Turkey and Russia. 

Last month, Moscow, Tehran, and Ankara agreed on the details of creating the fourth safe zone in Idlib, which borders Turkey and is largely under control of terrorist groups.

About today’s visit of Armenian Prime Minister to Tehran, Ghasemi deemed the visit another positive step toward expansion of ties between Iran and the Caucasus in regard to bilateral and regional issues.

MS/4108685

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