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Iran issued fighting words on Friday after the United States Senate passed a bill with a 99-0 vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
“Nothing but hostility is expected from the U.S., but as said before, now it’s time for retaliation,” Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Khamenei, said in a Friday prayer service.
The ISA was set to expire at the end of 2016, but the legislation that was unanimously passed today extended it another ten years.
Although the extensions did not specifically violate the current nuclear agreement that Iran has with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, the Ayatollah Khamenei warned a few weeks ago that extending the sanctions against Iran would be tantamount to violating the nuclear agreement.
"If this extension is implemented and comes into force, it will certainly be a violation of the nuclear deal and they should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran will certainly show reaction.”
That nuclear agreement included a tit-for-tat agreement that had Iran scale back its nuclear program in exchange for the six other parties lifting sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors. This is the deal that President-Elect Trump has called “one of the dumbed ideas ever,” vowing to make the deep sixing of that agreement one of his top priorities.
And while the President-Elect’s cabinet choices to date seem to share his hardline stance against the Iran nuclear agreement, his campaign trail promises may be all for naught, with Iran making it clear that extending sanctions will be seen through its eyes as violating that agreement.
According to the Fars News Agency, the Khamenei said that the Islamic Republic of Iran was unafraid, because it relies on divine power, as well as the power of the people’s presence and support.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.