“People are not happy. China is not happy, Turkey is not happy, Russia is not happy. France is not happy. US allies are not happy that this is happening and they say that they will find ways of resisting it,” Zarif told Fox News on Sunday.
“How they will do it, it’s up to them, and it’s up to them looking at their own future, if they want to have their lives ruled by the United States,” he added.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US in May 2018 from a multilateral nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was reached between Iran and six world powers in 2015. Afterwards, Washington reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the deal.
Last November, the US enforced sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s banking and energy sector. However, it granted waivers to eight major importers of Iran’s oil, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece, fearing market instability.
Last week, Trump decided not to renew the waivers when they expire in early May.
Zarif called the move “coercion, pure and simple.”
The American business magazine, Forbes, quoted Athens-based oil analyst Theophanis Matsopoulos as saying that the US move may inflict big losses on China as it would push crude prices up.
“The USA is declaring trading war against major economic entities like China and EU,” he said.
The US action “will boost the crude price even higher since approximately two million barrels will be taken off the market on a daily basis. This will accelerate inflation of the Chinese economy and will push it towards an even sharper slowdown,” Matsopoulos added.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Ankara has joined a group of nations determined to keep buying oil from Iran and is working on a mechanism to avoid US sanctions.
The Turkish and Iranian trade ministries are trying to keep the flow of goods between the two countries.
Turkey is also engaged in talks with the US over the sanctions on Iranian oil, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in Ankara.
Zarif noted that the US intends to make life hard for the Iranian people so that they will “take action” against the Tehran government.
“They are wrong in their analysis. They are wrong in their hope,” Zarif said, stressing that the people of Iran will instead resist such pressure.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said that US regional allies, including Saudi Arabia, are pushing Washington towards war with Iran.
“They have all shown an interest in dragging the United States into a conflict,” the top diplomat said.