A handout picture released by Iran`s Atomic Energy Organization on December 23. 2019 shows the nuclear water reactor of Arak. south of capital Tehran. during a visit by the head of the organization Ali Akbar Salehi (C). (Photo by IAEO)
Iran has blasted new US sanctions on its atomic energy organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi. saying they will not impede the country`s peaceful nuclear activities.
`Sanctioning this prominent scientific and political figure. which has been made only out of desperation. will have no effect on the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran`s peaceful nuclear program.` Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Friday.
`This is not the first time that he has been placed on the list of illegal and unilateral sanctions. just as it is not the first time that our nuclear scientists have been the target of the animosity of the US and the Zionist regime.` Mousavi said.
The remarks came after the US Treasury Department announced sanctions targeting the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and its top official on Thursday.
The Treasury will. however. issue waivers to sanctions that bar non-US firms from continuing their work in certain AEOI-related projects such as the heavy water reactor in Arak. the Fordow enrichment facility. the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the Tehran research reactor.
Thursday`s sanctions announcement comes against the backdrop of widespread American sanctions already imposed on Tehran after Washington withdrew from the multilateral Iran 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018.
The Trump administration has since repeatedly imposed new sanctions on Iran. with many questioning whether they have much of an effect with far-reaching bans already targeting all trade with the country.
In his remarks on Friday. Mousavi said the new sanctions targeting Iran. among Washington`s other hostile measures against the country. were aimed at diverting public opinion from Trump`s failed policies and the ongoing impeachment process.
`US officials seem to have put such crude and absurd motions on the agenda against the Iranian nation to divert public opinion from the domestic developments stemming from Trump`s impeachment and the early failure of the so-called deal of the century.`
The sanctions are part of the Trump administration`s “maximum pressure“ campaign. which Tehran views as a form of economic terrorism.
Mousavi said US authorities appear `unaware that the maximum pressure policy has reached a dead-end for quite a long time. and Iran`s vigorous push toward independence and self-sufficiency will not stop by such idiotic measures`.
AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi also dismissed the sanctions as a `political game` which have been imposed out of desperation and have no value.
`Iran`s nuclear programs will strongly continue` despite the sanctions. he said.