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IRAN TO FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST US OVER SANCTIONS ON HAND-WOVEN CARPETS

Tehran will lodge a complaint with the international courts against the US sanctions on imports of the Iranian hand-woven carpets, Head of Iran National Carpet Center (INCC) Fereshteh Dastpak said.

"Hand-woven Iranian carpet belongs to the Iranian nation," Dastpak said.

"US President (Donald Trump) has wrongly sanctioned the art-industry, which is a symbol of culture and intellectual property of the Iranian people," she added.

"According to international protocols, what belongs to a nation could not be sanctioned," Dastpak said.

The INCC, she said, hopes that it could remove hand-woven Iranian rugs from the US sanctions list through the international protocols and conventions of which the center is a member.

The case would be purused by the INCC as well as other relevant unions, Dastpak pointed out.

Her remarks came after the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department revoked the license for the imports of Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, including pistachios and caviar.

The move came in line with Trump's increasingly hostile approach toward Iran a few months after he withdrew Washington from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US was the biggest buyer of Iranian carpets and imported hand-woven rugs worth $80 million annually before the imposition of sanctions.

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran's crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.

After Trump's declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as "unlawful". The statement underlined Iran's prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran's guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.

Two months later, the other five powers party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.

"Unfortunately, the EU's package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union," President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.

President Rouhani pointed to US' unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, "After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business."

The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was disappointing.

President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, "Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months' time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran's economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions."

The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.

If the process of the European foreign ministers' meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe, Rouhani added.

But the Vienna talks on July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran's continued merits under the deal.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK


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