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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Global powers should oppose the United States’ use of sanctions or expect to face sanctions themselves, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump plans to issue an executive order allowing him to impose US sanctions on anyone violating an arms embargo against Iran, which is set to expire in October, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Although a range of sanctions are due to be announced on Saturday evening in Washington, Britain, France and Germany said in a statement that the sanctions, which the United Nations had suspended after the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, would have no legal effect.
The European nations added that they would work to preserve the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by Iran and world powers.
The US withdrew from the accord in 2018, after Mr Trump ran for presidency saying the agreement was a “terrible” giveaway to Iran. With the US election only six weeks away, Mr Trump is hoping the new sanctions will help him score points with voters.
The Trump administration says that on Saturday all United Nations sanctions on Iran have to be restored and the conventional arms embargo will no longer expire in mid-October.
“The Americans as a rule act as a bully and impose sanction... The world community should decide how to act towards bullying,” Mr Zarif told Iranian state television hours before the announcement in Washington.
“As they (other countries) will face the same thing tomorrow when America takes the same action towards the Nord Stream project, as well as other projects because a bully will continue to act as a bully if he is allowed to do it once,” Mr Zarif said.
The United States and many European countries oppose the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which they say will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
Separately, the chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards rejected any possibility war with the United States as a “bluff”.
“No power, including the United States, has the conditions to impose a new war on the Iranian nation, so people should not worry about these exaggerated bluffs by the US president,” said Revolutionary Guards Commander Hossein Salami, quoted by the semi-official news agency ISNA.
“Even if the [sanctions] snapback is performed, it will fire blank shots,” Mr Salami added.
“We will go ahead and take our actions if our rights are not fulfilled within the nuclear deal. We’re not afraid of bluffs, threats and intimidations.”
Mr Salami was apparently reacting to a tweet by Mr Trump this week in which he said any Iranian attack against the United States would be met by a response “1,000 times greater in magnitude.”
Mr Salami called the threat an “unbelievable exaggeration.” He also rejected reports published earlier this week that Iran was planning to kill the US ambassador to South Africa in retaliation, calling it “ridiculous and laughable” as Iran would not target anyone who wasn’t involved in General Qassem Suleimani killing.
Suleimani, Iran’s most senior military general, was killed in January in Baghdad by a US drone strike.
Updated: September 20, 2020 04:11 AM
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