Doubling down on sanctions won't create leverage for US

TEHRAN, Dec. 08 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman criticized the United States for imposing new sanctions against a number of the Iranian officials and entities over human rights allegations days before talks are set to resume in Vienna.

In a late Tuesday tweet, Saeed Khatibzadeh reacted to the new US sanctions against a dozen Iranian government officials and organizations over accusations of human rights abuses, saying, "Even amid #ViennaTalks, US cannot stop imposing sanctions against Iran."

"Washington fails to understand that 'maximum failure' & a diplomatic breakthrough are mutually exclusive. Doubling down on sanctions won't create leverage—and is anything but seriousness & goodwill," he added.

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on more than a dozen people and entities in Iran, Syria and Uganda, accusing them of being connected to serious human rights abuses and repressive acts.

The new sanctions targeted eight Iranian individuals and four organizations that the US administration claimed without providing any evidence to be involved in the repression of protesters and political activists.

This move comes as another round of talks with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has begun in the Austrian capital on November 29 between Iran and P4+1 with the aim of the removal of the US sanctions against Iran.

At the talks, the first under President Ebrahim Raeisi, the Iranian delegation presented two detailed draft texts; One on the removal of US sanctions and the other on Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.

The five-day intensive negotiations ended on December 3 after the diplomats returned to their capitals for more consultations.

Iran’s chief negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri Kani announced on Tuesday that Iran and the five other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal are set to start a new round of negotiations on December 9. He said that Tehran’s two proposed drafts in the seventh round of talks can seriously advance the negotiation process.

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