Washington: The White House Friday defended the move of blacklisting additional companies and people under existing sanctions, saying it does not violate an interim nuclear agreement reached between world powers and Iran last month.
The statement came a day after the US targetted additional entities that are suspected of evading earlier sanctions against Iran and supporting its nuclear programme, Xinhua
Iran criticised the measure as “unconstructive and not in line with the Geneva deal”.
“Some groups both inside and outside of the US government want to kill the Geneva deal,” Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Friday.
In a response, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the blacklist move represented actions based on existing sanctions, adding that the Obama administration is committed to refraining from any new nuclear-related sanctions.
Separately, US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Washington had given Iran “notification that these new designations would be occurring”, and didn’t believe the move would derail its nuclear talks with Iran.
“We would continue to enforce existing sanctions, including by designating additional entities or individuals under them,” she said at a press conference.
Iran’s expert-level nuclear negotiating team halted talks with the representatives of world powers in Vienna to return home for further consultations. The talks, which started Monday, were designed to work out the details of the landmark November deal.
In November, the P5+1 group, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany, struck a deal with Iran in Geneva, in which Iran agreed to freeze part of its nuclear programme in exchange for limited ease of sanctions which have hurt its economy.