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Iran dismisses U.S. "threats" amidst rising tensions

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

02-08-2017 07:02 BJT

TEHRAN, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday shrugged off what he called the U.S. "threats" against the Islamic republic, the official website of the supreme leader reported.

The Iranians are not afraid of the threats of the new U.S. President Donald Trump and his threats would not frighten Iran, said Khamenei.

The United States has never ceased its enmity against the Iranian people over the past 38 years following the victory of the revolution, he said as the Iranians are preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of Islamic republic on Feb. 10.

"Iran would not be crippled by the enemies" and the Iranians would respond to these threats in the nationwide rallies to be held on Feb. 10, he added.

The United States on Friday announced sanctions on multiple entities and individuals involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and providing support to a military force in Iran.

The move came days after Iran launched a ballistic missile test, which drew a stern warning from Washington.

The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the action reflects the U.S. commitment to enforcing sanctions on Iran with respect to its ballistic missile program and "destabilizing" activities in the region.

The United States also announced that it officially put Iran "on notice" over Tehran's recent missile launch and an attack against a Saudi vessel by Iran-supported Houthi militants.

In a reaction, Iranian officials unanimously called the missile test "inalienable right" of the country to boost deterrent power and Iran vowed to counteract the fresh U.S. sanctions.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that the U.S. government has adopted "hostile and threatening" policies towards Iran.

In the meantime, Russia and China opposed the U.S. sanctions against Iran.

On Monday, China lodged representations to the United States over the latest sanctions against Iran which involve Chinese companies and individuals.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a routine press briefing.

"China always opposes any unilateral sanctions, especially when they harm the interests of a third party," Lu said, adding such sanctions are "not helpful" to promote mutual trust and solve global issues.

Besides, Moscow regretted the imposition of new sanctions by the United States on Iran after the latter's missile test, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Monday.

Iran's recent missile test did not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the UN Security Council resolution urging the Islamic Republic to drop nuclear-capable missile activities, Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

He added that the existing mechanism ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program is implemented without "specific problems."

In the reports released here on Tuesday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also dismissed the threats by the new U.S. President Donald Trump to reconsider the 2015 agreement which put an end to the disputes over Iran's nuclear issue.

Zarif said that the Iranian nuclear deal, known as JCPOA, is an international deal and its renegotiation is not acceptable, Tehran Times daily reported on Tuesday.

"I believe (U.S. President Donald) Trump may try to renegotiate the nuclear deal," Zarif said, adding that "It's clear that neither Iran nor Europe will accept a re-examination of the deal. So, we have difficult days ahead."

Iran and six major world powers reached an agreement on the former's disputed nuclear program in July 2015, which was implemented in January last year. Based on the agreement, Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear activities to a considerable degree in return for the lift of western and international sanctions.

Trump has criticized the deal, as a pact of "disaster" or "the worst deal ever negotiated" and has vowed to renegotiate the accord.

Going back on the deal is impossible as it is not a bilateral agreement between Iran and the United States, Zarif was quoted as saying.

Any review of the agreement, endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, will face resistance from the international community as well, he said.

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