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Iran sanctions: Tehran vows retaliation over Trump move

Iran sanctions: Tehran vows retaliation over Trump move
From BBC - January 13, 2018

Iran says the US has "crossed a red line" by imposing sanctions on the head of its judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani.

The foreign ministry vowed to retaliate, but did not say what form any action might take.

Iran also rejected any changes to its nuclear deal with world powers.

US President Donald Trump, a critic of the 2015 accord, said on Friday he would extend sanctions relief over the landmark deal one last time.

At the same time the US imposed fresh sanctions on 14 individuals and entities over alleged rights abuses.

President Trump said he was giving Europe and the US "a last chance" to fix "terrible flaws" in the nuclear agreement signed by Iran and six world powers in 2015.

The White House wants EU signatories to agree permanent restrictions on Iran's uranium enrichment. Under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025. Mr Trump also wants Iran's ballistic missile programme to be addressed.

What are the new sanctions?

Although the US has suspended sanctions against Iran following the nuclear deal, it still imposes punitive measures over issues such as terrorism, human rights and ballistic missile development.

The US Treasury issued a statement on Friday saying Ayatollah Amoli-Larijani was responsible for the "torture or cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in Iran, including amputations".

He had called for a crackdown on "rioters" and "vandals" following a recent spate of anti-government protests in Iranian cities.

Iran has complained that US sanctions not connected to nuclear activity have effectively cancelled out any financial benefits it expected from the 2015 deal.

What was Iran's reaction?

"The Trump regime's hostile action (against Larijani)... crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community and is a violation of international law and will surely be answered by a serious reaction of the Islamic Republic," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It accused Mr Trump of "continuing to take hostile measures against the Iranian people and repeating the threats that have failed many times".

Referring to Mr Trump's threats to scrap the nuclear deal, the statement said Iran "will not accept any amendments in this agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]".

What is the nuclear deal?

What does Mr Trump want to change?

What have other countries said?

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