Iran accuses US of nuclear deal “sabotage”

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Iran has accused the US of not living up to its side of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal after Washington slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran over its ballistic missiles programme.

Abbas Aragchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister, said on Friday that the sanctions “violate” the terms of the agreement Washington and five other world powers signed with Tehran.

The nuclear deal does not cover Iran’s ballistic missiles programme.

The US had imposed sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities on Tuesday, after accusing Iran of testing ballistic missiles and contributing to regional tensions.

“We talked in detail about the sanctions and the instances that the Americans had delayed in fulfilling their commitments, the instances where they violated the deal,” Araqchi told reporters in Vienna after a review of the pact by the seven nations that signed it.A

“We showed one by one the instances where the American side in the last year and a half acted without good will and even acted with ill intention.”

Araqchi said the US was “trying to sabotage the situation, to threaten or scare off foreign companies to invest in Iran”.

The regular quarterly meeting to review the deal heard that Iran is sticking to its side of the pact with US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Under the deal, Tehran agreed to massively scale back production of nuclear-making material in return for sanctions relief.

But the pact has not eased tensions between Tehran and Washington, which continue to clash over conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

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Iran can use the so-called Joint Commission meetings to trigger a formal dispute resolution mechanism set out for cases where one party feels there is a breach of the deal.

Araqchi declined to answer whether he had used the meeting to trigger the mechanism.

But he said: “We were not satisfied with America’s…broken promises and … announced that we’re not convinced that America has properly carried out its duties.”

Araqchi added that he had expressed his concerns in bilateral talks with the US after Friday’s main meeting.

US President Donald Trump has criticised the nuclear accord, which was signed under his predecessor, Barack Obama as “the worst deal ever”.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also said on Wednesday that new US economic sanctions contravened the nuclear accord and pledged that Tehran would “resist” them while respecting the deal itself.

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