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Iran, India can counter US’ illegal sanctions, bullying, says Zarif

10 January 2019 14:53

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lauded ties, especially economic relations, with India, expressing confidence that Tehran and New Delhi will counter the US’ “illegal” measures, sanctions and bullying.  

“Relations with India have always been important. India is an important neighbor,” Zarif said in an interview with NDTV in New Delhi on Wednesday, adding that Iran and India had “common security concerns” as well as regional concerns regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf region.

“We have done trade with each other for centuries, so it’s very difficult for an outside power to come and intervene in these relations … what the Unites States is asking is not only in violation of international law but [it is] asking others also to violate international law and Security Council resolutions,” Zarif said.

He praised India for adopting “a principled position that it will only abide by UN sanctions not by unilateral sanctions.”

The top Iranian diplomat, however, admitted that there were “economic pressures,” saying, “The Americans are using every method of arm-twisting available in the books and outside the books. That’s what they are doing illegally, unlawfully.”

“This is not a precedent that anybody wants to see created in the future that a country with whatever political, economic or military might could come and order and push other countries into violating international law and into going against their own economic interests,” he said.

He said that due to American pressure, European measures that were supposed to be adopted in complacence with their obligations under the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as those enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions are not yet fully materialized.

But he said that Iran has moved forward with other countries, particularly its traditional partners, including immediate neighbors as well as China and India to counter the US bans.

Zarif also expressed assurances that Iran and India would find ways to circumvent US’s illegal measures and bullying.

In the wake of US withdrawal from the JCPOA in May 2018 and the subsequent re-imposition of Washington’s sanctions on Iran, the European Union has been seeking to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

So far, the Europeans have failed twice to fulfill their promises to get the system up and running in order to persuade Iran to remain in the JCPOA after the US abandoned it.

PressTV-Iran says EU 'hostage' of US, warns of 'consequences'

Iran says EU ‘hostage’ of US, warns of ‘consequences’

Tehran is critical of the EU’s failure to set up a payment mechanism meant to circumvent US sanctions, saying it is high time Europeans showed they can act independently of the US.

Iran has been critical of the EU for failing to set up the payment mechanism, warning that the bloc should account for the “consequences” of the delay.

US presence foments insecurity, aggravates extremism

Elsewhere in his remarks, the top Iranian diplomat said foreign military presence, including that of the US, has never contributed to stability and security of the region but brought about extremism and terrorism.

He said that Iran and India shared the same objective in Afghanistan, and that is an Afghanistan that “has an inclusive government, where every segment of the society is able to interact and be a part of the governance.”

Impossible to eliminate Taliban in Afghan future

Zarif also said that it would “impossible to have a future in Afghanistan without any role for the Taliban,” but added, “We also believe that the Taliban should not have a dominant role in Afghanistan.”

PressTV-Iran confirms hosting Taliban delegation for peace talks

Iran confirms hosting Taliban delegation for peace talks

Iran says it hosted a Taliban delegation on Sunday to hold peace talks in coordination with the government of Afghanistan.

“An Afghanistan dominated by the Taliban would not be in the interest of the region,” he said, adding,” I believe that’s almost a consensus.”

He also said that it was for the Afghans to decide for the future of their country and stressed that all players in the region and outside the region should “facilitate [a peace process] not dictate their wishes and desires.”

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