Iran has quit nuclear talks with world powers, accusing Washington on Friday of going against the spirit of a landmark agreement reached last month by expanding its sanctions blacklist.
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the major powers in the talks, said both sides had headed home for consultations and that she expected the talks to resume soon.
But Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the US move went against the spirit of the deal struck in Geneva under which the powers undertook to impose no further sanctions for six months.
Tehran was now weighing the “appropriate response”, he said.
“America’s move is against the spirit of the Geneva deal,” Araqchi told the Fars news agency as his team headed back to Tehran from Vienna.
“We are evaluating the situation and will make the appropriate response.
“Such a measure is by no means constructive and we are seriously critical of it,” Araqchi later said on state television.
Under the deal, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its suspect nuclear programme for six months in return for some $7 billion in relief from Western sanctions as it negotiates a final, comprehensive accord to allay suspicions it seeks a weapons capability.
Iranian negotiators quit the implementation talks late on their fourth day Thursday after Washington blacklisted a dozen companies and individuals for evading US sanctions.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, quoted by state news IRNA, said: “The consequences of this unstudied move is completely on the American government.”
The Mehr news agency quoted informed sources as saying that the “new American sanctions” were the reason for the interruption.