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Iran Threatens 'Severe' Response to US Sanctions Against Larijani

Iran Threatens 'Severe' Response to US Sanctions Against Larijani

Tuesday, 16 January, 2018 - 14:30
Iranian Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani. AFP

Iranian Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani said it is an honor for him to be sanctioned by the US, in his first comments after including his name in the recent list of US sanctions, describing that as a proof of the Islamic Republic’s correct path.

Larijani slammed the US administration’s move to impose sanctions against the Judiciary chief of a country as “crossing all international red lines”, stressing that Iran would not remain silent on such a measure.

“The US should know that every hostile conduct will draw proportional reaction from Iran,” the top judge said, adding that he personally does not care about facing sanctions by the Trump administration.

On Friday, US president Donald Trump agreed to extend the waivers for sanctions on Iran, and the US treasury department imposed new sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities over Tehran's human rights abuses and ballistic missile program.

Larijani is the highest-ranking official to be appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Earlier in March 2012, the EU imposed sanctions on Larijani for violating human rights.

Larijani said that the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), could by no means be changed or linked to other issues.

Referring to recent protests in Iran, Larijani spoke of the importance of the Internet in Iran, saying: "Regardless of technical issues, what matters to us on the Internet is the security."

Larijani implicitly rejected criticisms against the judiciary over restrictions on the Internet and social media networks and considered them "false analyses."

He accused his country's enemies of seeking to affect the Iranians via the Internet. In this regard, the Iranian official relied on the testimony of the Iranian security services in the protests that hit more than 80 Iranian cities. "On this basis, we believe we should not give chances for the enemies," he said.

Larijani also implicitly accused government agencies responsible for the Internet of negligence.

Although more than a week has passed since the return of calm to Iranian cities that were loaded with popular protests, the aftershocks are still continuing, especially after the deaths recorded in Iranian prisons among the detainees.

“More than 440 people who were arrested in Tehran riots have been released,” Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Dolatabadi said most of those held during the protests were from low income families, and were between 18 and 35 years old.

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