West seeking to evade JCPOA commitments: Iranian adviser

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Western countries want Iran to stay loyal to its commitments as per the July 2015 nuclear deal, but would resort to any pretext to shirk their own responsibilities, an international adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker said.

Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday, Hossein Sheikholeslam pointed to recent sanctions imposed on Iran for its missile program, and said they could be a breach of the nuclear deal.

He also stressed that the country’s defense is not others’ business.

“These (missile tests) are the country’s defense issues, and according to international laws, we have every right to equip our country (with military gear) for legitimate defense,” he stated.

He described the sanctions as being based on false pretexts, and noted that any new sanction could be a violation of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers (known as the JCPOA).

“They want to compel us to do what we committed ourselves to, but they themselves evade their responsibilities under various pretexts,” Sheikholeslam said.

Back on January 17, Washington imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran’s ballistic missile program.

The move by the White House came hours after termination of anti-Tehran sanctions following the beginning of JCPOA implementation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described new US sanctions over Iran’s ballistic missile testing as “illegal”.

“We believe these sanctions are uncalled for. We believe the sanctions are illegal. They violate basic principles. The Iranian missile program is a legitimate defense program,” Zarif told the Associated Press last Wednesday.

Earlier in January, the White House postponed the sanctions planned by the Treasury Department against individuals in Iran, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates following Iran’s missile testing in October and November.

Iran has repeatedly announced that test of missiles is an issue relating to defense of its territorial integrity and has nothing to do with the JCPOA.

Iran has also underscored frequently that its military might poses no threat to other countries and that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

By Tasnim News Agency