A day after the United States imposed sanctions on a network of Iranian petrochemical firms, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi reacted strongly against Washington’s move, saying he was shocked by the US government’s behaviour. President Raisey criticized the US for imposing new sanctions on a petrochemical firm and said he was confused by the intentions of the Biden administration, according to state-owned news agency IRNA. “On the one hand they send a message in favor of negotiation and agreement, and on the other they lengthen the list of sanctions,” he said.
Notably, the latest US action comes almost days after a report emerged that Iranian petrochemical companies are using Chinese and UAE companies to circumvent sanctions. Iran is facing Western sanctions for its illegal activities related to uranium. Countries such as the US, Israel and the UAE have on several occasions raised concerns about the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon – a claim that Tehran has repeatedly denied. Tehran, however, claims that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes such as generating electrical power and medical isotopes.
Recently, Iran disconnected IAEA surveillance cameras from the nuclear site
In 2015, an agreement was signed that gave Tehran major relief from sanctions. In return, however, Iran pledged not to develop nuclear weapons. Later, three years later, then-US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed a wave of sanctions on the Islamic Republic. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tehran plans to increase its uranium enrichment – a key component in the manufacture of nuclear bombs – emphasizing that its nuclear program is for “peaceful purposes”. .
Recently, soon after the US and its European allies pushed through a resolution at the IAEA condemning Iran’s lack of cooperation, Iran had cut some IAEA surveillance cameras. Notably, since Iran’s torn nuclear deal in April has been stalled, the Israeli government has been claiming Tehran is running advanced centrifuges and has rapidly growing reserves of enriched uranium. According to Tel Aviv, “Iran is just weeks away from accumulating enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.” However, the statements were categorically rejected by top Iranian leaders.
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