Rouhani to Obama: Don't sign extension of sanctions

Iran's President demands that Obama not sign an extension of sanctions on his country, says he is "obliged" to let sanctions expire.

Elad Benari,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday demanded that U.S. President Barack Obama not sign an extension of U.S. sanctions on his country, The Associated Press reported.

Rouhani said the bill is a violation of a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Last Thursday, the Senate unanimously voted 99-0 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) by ten years.

The bill had previously been approved by a vote of 419-1 in the House of Representatives. The bill still needs to be signed into law by Obama.

The ISA, which was first passed in 1996, enacts sanctions on companies that invest in Iran's energy sector in order to deter the Islamic Republic's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

On Sunday, speaking in an open session of Iran's parliament, Rouhani said Obama is "obliged" to let the sanctions expire.

The Iranian leader promised a "prompt response" from Iran if the U.S. sanctions are extended.

"We are committed to an acceptable implementation of the deal but in response to non-commitment, violation or hesitation in its implementation, we will act promptly," he said, according to AP.

Senior Iranian officials reacted angrily after the House of Representatives passed the extension of the sanctions, saying that doing so goes against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name of the nuclear agreement signed last year between Iran and six world powers.

And, on Friday, Iranian lawmakers threatened to pass legislation to resume the country’s nuclear activities response to Congress extending the sanctions.