Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran will not sit for talks with the US as long as it sees no reliability and realism on the other side.
“I’m not ruling out the prospect of talks provided the necessary conditions for talks, and that is reliability,” Zarif said in response to a question about the possibility of bilateral talks between Tehran and Washington.
He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The New Yorker, which was conducted in New York on Saturday and published on Monday.
“Reliability is different from trust. Reliability is that when you sign something you are bound by it,” the Iranian top diplomat noted. He then cited an old Latin idiom, Pacta sunt servanda, which means “treaties shall be complied with”, and described it as the basis of international relations.
“Otherwise everything will fall apart… We are waiting for some sense of realism,” Zarif added.
Zarif further noted that the relationship between Iran and Washington needs to be based on some foundations, and the Iran nuclear deal could be the one if the US had remained in it.
“That is a hundred and fifty pages long. It’s not a two-page document,” Zarif said, sarcastically referring to US President Donald Trump’s agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at their June summit.
Back in May, Trump withdrew his country from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Since then, the remaining parties to the deal, including France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China, are trying to convince Tehran to remain in the multilateral agreement.
Last Monday, European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini announced, in a joint press conference with Zarif in New York, the E3+2 group of countries will establish a ‘special purpose vehicle’ to facilitate payments related to Iran’s exports as part of efforts to salvage the 2015 deal.
She later noted the EU’s initiative to facilitate payment to/from Iran could be in place before November, when the US is to re-impose the second batch of its anti-Iran sanctions.