EghtesadOnline: Iran and its nuclear deal with six major world powers, including the United States, once again on Thursday was brought into the global spotlight, as the US Senate renewed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) of 1996 in defiance of all international efforts to remove restrictions on the nation.
Originally meant to de-escalate the tensions between Iran and the West, the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed in 2015 to put an end to a political impasse between Tehran and world powers that wanted to make sure Iran's nuclear activities did not have military dimensions, IRNA reported.
And the signing of the landmark deal while served to be evident to the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities, opened the window for Iran to re-engage with the world community as implementation of the deal removed decades-long sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
With the ISA set to expire on December 31st, 2016, extended for another ten-year period, many started to believe that Washington was preparing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to tear up Iran nuclear deal.
But some, including Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, tended to have a different idea claiming that the Senate has reserved itself the so-called right to credibly snapback sanctions on Iran should it violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The Senate attempt to renew the Iran Sanctions Act, however, tended initially to be portrayed as a nightmare for all the politicians and nuclear negotiators who in the wake of marathon, wide-ranging talks managed to strike a deal to ward off another crisis in a region already overridden by ethnic, religious and terrorist conflicts and wars.
But as Erich Ferrari, a US lawyer who specializes in sanctions law, argues, the overwhelming vote by the Senate tended to be just a symbolic gesture and that actual effects of the extension are “pretty limited”.
Ferrari warns against interpretations by some that the vote is going to mean the United States is mulling over scraping the nuclear deal.
“The imposition or renewal of any sanctions are going to be spun by those parties to make it look as if the US is imposing new or stricter sanctions,” Ferrari told the Huffington Post.
The fact is the JCPOA is a multi-lateral commitment, said on Friday Deputy Chief of Staff of the President for Political Affairs Hamid Aboutalebi reacting to the US Senate move.
The violation of the nuclear deal by one of the signatories is not going to kill the deal, he wrote in a Twitter post, warning against unilateral reactions that could exacerbate the situation.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also believes that the vote by the US Senate to extend the ISA for another ten years demonstrates that Washington could not be trusted when it comes to its international commitments.
The renewal of Iran sanctions act is going to damage the credibility of the United States as far as its international commitments are concerned, Zarif said in a New Delhi press conference on Saturday.
But what remains to be of prime importance is Tehran's approach towards the new situation.
The implementation of the nuclear deal has put an end to the brutal Western-imposed sanctions against Iran and in the post-JCPOA era the country has the opportunity to reestablish ties with the world, rebuild its economy and assume a better role on the world scene.
The Iran Sanctions Act is going to affect only the US companies and restrict their engagements with the Islamic Republic, but according to Zarif, it is not expected to affect third party nations and their dealings with Iran.
One of the goals Washington is trying to achieve is isolating Iran by persuading their allies to follow suit and stop engaging with the country.
As an important regional and global player, and in the face of terrorist activities overwhelming the region, Iran should act cautiously and never let some parties capitalize on the fragile situation to foster insecurity and animosity.