Sat Dec 3, 2016 10:19PM
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The US Congress re-imposition of sanctions against Iran on pretexts such as human rights and support for terrorism shows the American “black and white” mode of thinking, given the generally accepted fact that Saudi Arabia is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, says a former US Senate foreign policy analyst.

James George Jatras told Press TV on Saturday that the Senate’s recent vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another 10 years reflects the “absurd” attitude lingering in the US politics to consider Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

“It is really incredible that so much of the American political class likes to repeat this mantra: Iran a chief state sponsor of terrorism, and that is absolutely absurd,” he said. “Everybody who knows anything about terrorism knows that Saudi Arabia by far is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”

Iran says the ISA extension, passed unanimously on Thursday, is a violation of the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers, vowing to retaliate against the move.

‘Signature accomplishment’

US President Barack Obama talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a phone call in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on September 27, 2013. (Photo by Reuters)

According to Jatras, the administration of US President Barack Obama does not believe that the extension is a violation of the agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I would not conclude that the vote in Congress on extending the sanctions act has anything to do with the Middle East. Let’s remember that President Obama considers the Iranian nuclear deal his signature accomplishment during his time in office,” said the Washington-based commentator.

He added that the anti-Iran move is “somewhat symbolic” and does not mean “anything concrete in terms of the nuclear deal or what is going to happen in the Middle East.”

He argued, however, that the extension is not a “positive step” but not “necessarily as harmful as some people might think it is.”

According Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the anti-Iran move is a US “revenge” against Tehran’s successive “victories.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany reached a nuclear deal on July 14, 2015.

Under the JCPOA, which took effect in January, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related bans imposed against Tehran.