Iran nuclear deal ‘dead’ if new sanctions passed, Iranian foreign minister says

( Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that if the U.S. Congress passed new Iran sanctions, the interim nuclear deal between Iran and world powers would be “dead,” even if those sanctions would not take effect for six months.

The Arak heavy water reactor of the Iran nuclear program. Credit: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons.

“If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States,” Zarif said in an interview with Time magazine. “I know the domestic complications and various issues inside the United States, but for me that is no justification. I have a parliament. My parliament can also adopt various legislation that can go into effect if negotiations fail. But if we start doing that, I don’t think that we will be getting anywhere.”

Zarif’s comments come as a bipartisan group of U.S. senators neared an agreement on a new round of Iran sanctions that would begin in six months and would not allow for any uranium enrichment, contrary to the interim deal that allows Iran to enrich to 5 percent, CNN reported. The new sanctions would permit commercial nuclear power for Iran.

We’ll do sanctions tied to the end game where the relief will only come if they stop the enrichment program, dismantle the reactor and turn over the enriched uranium,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN.

Posted on December 10, 2013 .