Published On: Thu, Jan 30th, 2020

Iran says US decision to sanction nuclear chief is ‘childish’ and shows ‘despair,’ won’t slow program down

The US decision to sanction Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi as part of its maximum pressure campaign against Tehran shows Washington’s “despair” and won’t slow down the country’s civilian nuclear program, state media said.

The sanctions are a “sign of America’s despair” and “a political game played by Washington,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) told the Fars news agency.

“These sanctions have no value and are childish measures,” he said, adding that they will have “no impact” on the country’s civilian nuclear work which “will continue with full force based on Iran’s needs.”

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The statement comes hours after the US announced new sanctions to be imposed on the AEOI and its boss Salehi in a fresh bid to ramp up pressure on Iran since Washington unilaterally abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, accusing Tehran of non-compliance.

Iran later began rolling back its own commitment to the deal, finally throwing out all of its limitations after the US assassinated top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at the beginning of the year.

The Trump administration has accused Salehi of trying to produce nuclear weapons, though multiple assessments, including by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), have failed to find that the AEOI is running a secret nuclear weapons program.

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