Responses to House Passed Sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
North Korea responded to earlier US sanctions, calling their imposition "an act of war."
Last month during his annual marathon Q & A session, Vladimir Putin said anti-Russian sanctions benefitted the country, making it more self-reliant and self-sufficient, notably by developing stronger ties with China and other countries.
He criticized Washington's agenda, saying it "constantly tries to exert influence on the minds of the residents of other countries. Take a globe, spin it and point with a finger to any place."
US interests are everywhere - interfering in the internal affairs of virtually all countries. "I know this from talks…with other the heads of state," Putin explained. "They do not want to quarrel with the Americans and no one directly speaks about this."
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov called new US sanctions destructive "beyond common sense."
"The authors and sponsors of this bill are making a very serious step towards destruction of prospects for normalizing relations with Russia and do not conceal that that's their target."
"The reverse side of this coin is a strive to restrict in all areas the possibilities for the US executive authorities to bolster relations with Russia and other countries that are 'targets' of this bill."
"Washington is a source of danger. (It's) out of control…This should be understood and actions should be taken in a balanced, reasonable, cautious and calm way, without any emotions. We will be ready for such actions."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the House vote, saying the Islamic Republic will "definitely" give a proportionate response - "any step we deem necessary," he stressed.
For nearly four decades, US hostility toward Iran has been largely unrelenting, including straightaway violations of the JCPOA nuclear deal, illegal sanctions imposed after its implementation.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi blasted Washington, saying "(t)he measure being taken by the US Congress and the new law being passed against Iran, Russia and North Korea is a blatant hostile act against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which will be met with a decisive response."
On Tuesday, Trump ignored Iran's full compliance with the nuclear deal, threatening "big, big problems (if its government) doesn't conform to what it's supposed to conform to," adding insult to injury blustering:
"You would have thought they would have said 'thank you United States. We really love you very much.' Instead, they've become emboldened. That won't take place much longer."
Trump referred to the latest US instigated Persian Gulf incident. The USS Thunderbolt, patrolling waters where it doesn't belong, provocatively fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel.
A US navy statement irresponsibly blamed Iran for what it called "an unsafe and unprofessional interaction."
An Islamic Revolution Guard Corps statement said its vessel foiled a US warship's provocative move against an Iranian Navy patrol boat in the Persian Gulf.
The "IRGC navy patrol boat continued its mission, ignoring the unprofessional and provocative move by the US warship, and the warship left the zone after a while."
According to the neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post's owned Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, Trump directed a White House team to examine ways of withholding certification when the administration's next 90-day review of the Iran nuclear deal is due.
According to an unnamed administration source, the president is telling his White House team "that he wants to be in a place to decertify 90 days from now and it's their job to put him there."
Brussels promised retaliatory measures if US sanctions on Russia harm EU business interests.
German Chambers of Commerce and Industry chief economist Volker Treier said "(t)he European Commission now must…resist the exterritorial effect of new US penalties."
"If German firms are banned from participating in gas pipeline enterprises, very important projects in the energy supply security sector can be halted. In that case, the German economy will be discernibly influenced."
US and European corporate giants expressed concerns about new Russian sanctions, saying their business interests will be harmed.
On Tuesday, they passed the House near unanimously. Senate passage is certain.
Trump will likely sign the measure into law - delivering another body blow to rule of law principles and bilateral relations with three countries, souring them more than already.
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