US ‘hostility’ grows despite nuclear deal: Iranian official

AFP – US “hostility” to Iran is growing day by day despite Tehran’s nuclear deal, a senior Iranian official said Sunday, ahead of the first anniversary of the historic accord.

“The United States has done whatever it can do slow down Iran’s progress” after the deal, said Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, the chief Iranian negotiator in the agreement that took effect on January 16 last year.

“In the last 12 months, we have witnessed delays and the disrespecting of promises by the US and some countries. Their hostility increases by the day,” Araghchi told reporters.

The agreement between Tehran and six world powers saw a range of international sanctions lifted in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran has seen a rise in oil exports and increased investment in manufacturing since it came into force.

But Iranian officials have accused Washington of failing to abide by the deal, including with a raft of other sanctions related to non-nuclear issues that have helped deter major Western banks from returning to Iran.

US President-elect Donald Trump vowed during last year’s campaign to tear up the agreement, considered a key victory for President Barack Obama.

Araghchi said it made little difference who was in the White House as international law required Washington to implement the deal.

“Whether its Obama or Trump, the US president is committed to cancelling laws that are against it,” Araghchi said, adding that there would be no further discussions with US officials.

“Our nuclear negotiations with the Americans are finalised and we have no other political talks with them,” he said. “In our view, everything is over.”