Iran to Continue Talks with U.S. Despite Sanctions

Iran said it would continue its negotiations regarding its nuclear power in the Geneva talks with world powers despite new measures put in place by the United States that target several individuals and companies for their support of Tehran’s controversial program, said Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Foreign Minister on Sunday.

On Thursday, the U.S. blacklisted another 19 people and companies under its sanctions that have a goal of preventing Iran from reaching the capability of making nuclear weapons, said U.S. officials. Iran on the other hand insists its program is peaceful.

Zarif said the U.S. had taken measures that were improper over the last few days. He said the response to those measures by Iran would be purposeful, calculated, proper and smart.

Negotiators from Iran stopped the nuclear talks on Thursday in Vienna and returned to Tehran for new consultations after the new measures were put in place by the U.S.

According to the interim nuclear deal that was reached in Geneva and signed by six world powers and Iran November 24, Iran would curb its program and in exchange receive limited relief from the current economic sanctions over a six-month period.

Iran on more than one occasion has said no one would pressure it and warned that more sanctions could be a deal killer.

On Friday, Russia echoed the criticism by Iran on the new sanctions. Maria Zakharova a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Russia said the decision by the U.S. administration went against the spirit of the recently signed document for the Iran nuclear program.

In the same statement, Zakharova said the widening by the U.S. of the blacklists could complicate the fulfillment of the Geneva agreement, which proposes the easing of sanctions against the regime in Tehran.

Officials from the U.S. said the move to blacklist individuals and companies just showed that the deal reached in Geneva would not be an interference to their policy of sanctions designed at curbing entities suspected of giving support to the nuclear program in Iran.

Some lawmakers in the U.S. want even more sanctions against Iran. However, President Obama has campaigned members of Congress to not impose any new ones and allow for a diplomatic process.

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