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In New York Zarif Says U.S. Must Treat Nuclear Deal Differently

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a joint press statement with German Foreign Minister at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, June 027, 2017

As the United States Congress is gearing up to pass a new sanction bill penalizing Iran and Russia, Iran’s foreign minister arriving in New York told Iran’s state broadcaster that the U.S. has abided by the nuclear agreement “to the smallest extent”.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, upon his arrival at the airport, said that the nuclear deal (JCPOA) was the best outcome for all parties, but the U.S. “prevented Iran to completely benefit from it by adopting wrong approaches and policies, which are against the spirit of the agreement”.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action, as the nuclear agreement is called, was signed on July 14, 2015, exactly two years to the date.

Following the nuclear deal, the U.S. and its European allies shelved stringent economic sanctions that had been gradually put in place to stop Iran’s nuclear program. This was agreed upon as part of the nuclear deal package.

However, Western countries have kept in place other sanctions related to Iran’s human rights violations and involvement with terror attacks and groups accused of terrorism.

The new sanctions bill passed by the U.S. Senate and reportedly nearing a final vote in the House of Representatives, would impose sanctions on any foreign person or foreign entity that does business with an entity already designated by the U.S. as having a connection with Iran's ballistic missile program.

These sanctions, could affect any financial institution or any foreign company that provides key parts or components to Iran's ever-expanding ballistic missile program.

UN Security Council’s resolution 2231 which after the 2015 nuclear deal replaced previous UNSC’s sanctions, calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Iran claims that its ballistic missile program is not related to nuclear warheads, but strong suspicion remains that almost all of Iran’s ballistic missiles are capable of carrying suitably designed nuclear warheads.

Iran continues to test and brandish its ballistic missiles, creating concern for the U.S. and its allies in the region.

Zarif was asked if he has any plans during his stay in the U.S. to meet with the Secretary of State or legislators. He said, “No plan has been made to this end.”

Zarif travelled to US to participate in the United Nations' High-Level Political Forum 2017.