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Velayati Says Banning Aircraft Sales To Iran Violates Nuclear Deal

Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Iran's supreme leader. File photo

Ali Akbar Velayati, adviser to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has called the U.S. Congress vote to curtail sale of civilian aircraft to Iran, a violation of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers.

On September 13, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted amendments to the 2018 government spending package that would create hurdles for the sale of aircraft to Iran.

The Iranian state broadcaster quoted Mr. Velayati as saying, “Banning sale of aircraft to Iran is another sign that we cannot depend on the U.S. and its allies.”

Velayati added, “This act by the Americans is a violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA]”, as the nuclear accord is called.

“Every day, a new act against the Islamic Republic is implemented by the novice American president”, he said.

Two amendments offered by Representative Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) that would prohibit the use of funds to authorize financial transactions for aircraft sales and prevent the Office of Foreign Assets Control from clearing sales, were adopted by voice vote, The Hill reported.

“Until Iran ceases using commercial aircraft to support terrorists and war criminals, western companies ought not be allowed to sell Iranian airliners more aircraft that they can use to fuel Assad’s brutal war,” Roskam said during debate.

Last year, Roskam offered similar amendments that were also adopted as but failed to become law.

Several democrats warned that new restrictions would jeopardize the nuclear deal, which they labelled as a success.

Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said, “I think being able to maintain our commitments under the agreement… is important. That Iranian nuclear agreement has held and is one of the few bright spots in that region”.

The Trump administration has not taken any concrete steps to stop aircraft sales to Iran, which would bring in billions of dollars. Huge export deals would boost Trump’s promises of jobs for American workers.

With reporting by The Hill