Iran nuclear energy program pretext for US sanctions: Marandi

Iran’s nuclear energy program is merely a pretext for the United States to impose tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic, an academic tells Press TV.

Mohammad Marandi made the remark in an interview with Press TV a day after US President Barack Obama renewed the so-called National Emergency Act with respect to Iran, which keeps the sanctions against the Islamic Republic in place for at least one more year.

Marandi said the history of the US sanctions against Iran dates back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, well before “the nuclear standoff between Iran and the United States and its partners” came to the fore two decades later.

“The sanctions regime continued to expand throughout the 1980s and 1990s until today. So, it shows basically that the problem that the United States has with Iran is not really linked to the nuclear program. The nuclear program is just the latest excuse,” said Marandi.

He added that “Iran’s sovereignty and independence” have become the bête noire of Washington.

Marandi said the US extended its list of sanctions against Iranian individuals and companies even after Tehran and six world powers clinched a historic deal last November.

“Not only is the United States not showing goodwill but it also has expanded sanctions,” he said, adding, “The sanctions regime is nothing new. It has nothing to do with the nuclear program. It’s just an excuse.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are working to hammer out a comprehensive deal following the Geneva accord. Experts from both sides met in Vienna, Austria, last week.

The next round of high-level talks between Iran and the six countries is to be held in Vienna on March 17.

By Press TV


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