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Larijani Asks Parliament To Retaliate Against New U.S. Sanctions Bill

IIranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani in a session of parliament on Sunday June 11, 2017.
IIranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani in a session of parliament on Sunday June 11, 2017.

Joining the Islamic Republic’s official chorus against the recent U.S. Senate bill for imposing new sanctions on Tehran, Iran’s parliament speaker asked the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to urgently formalize a new bill to retaliate against the Senate move.

According to Iranian government official news agency, IRNA, Ali Larijani said parliament is to deliver a “serious” and “clear” response to a push at the US Senate to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

It is not clear however, what kind of a meaningful response the Iranian parliament can enact, which could reciprocate a new sanctions bill by the U.S. Senate.

On Wednesday 7 June, US Senate voted (92 -7) clearing the way for action on bipartisan legislation that would authorize President Donald Trump to impose new sanctions on Iran.

A final vote is expected in the coming days.

According to the Associated Press, the bill would impose mandatory sanctions on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure also would apply terrorism sanctions to the country's Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

If passed, the bill would include an arms embargo that would require the president to block the property of anyone or any entity involved in the sale, supply or transfer of prohibited weapons to or from Iran.

The House has not yet voted on the bill.

Prior to the voting, some senators, including Bernie Sanders (Independent – Vermont) had urged to delay the procedural vote, arguing that the timing was inappropriate because of the terror attacks in Tehran.

"The country has just suffered from two significant terrorist attacks after electing a moderate government with 57 percent of the vote — we need to give Iran the opportunity to recover and set a new course," Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

Nevertheless, the procedural vote went ahead as previously planned.

Immediately after the procedural vote, in an orchestrated move, Islamic Republic officials targeted the senate with a barrage of criticism. On Thursday, June 8, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, protested against Senate’s new sanctions bill and also dismissed President Trump’s message of condolences after June 7 terrorist attacks in Tehran and said:

“People of Iran refuse to accept such claims of friendship.”

Meanwhile, his deputy, Abbas Araqchi, said, the new bill, if approved, would amount to the violation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA, or Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers.

Apparently, targeting Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, IRGC, and its Quds Force in US Senate’s new package of sanctions, is the main reason behind Iranian officials’ anger.

“The Americans should be aware that the Iranian parliament has a strong resolve in the fight against terrorists and supports the IRGC and Quds Forces with full power,” Ali Larijani has claimed.