Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the United States’ fresh sanctions against Iranian entities and companies run counter to the Geneva deal between Tehran and the six world powers, warning that Washington’s continued hostile moves have made Iranians distrustful of the US.
“Our people are fully distrustful of the Americans, and the US had better have paved the ground for attracting their trust to some extent. The US moves make the Iranian people even more distrustful of the US and these actions run counter to the Geneva agreements,” President Rouhani said during a press conference here in Tehran on Saturday.
He then pointed to the US justifications that it has not imposed any fresh sanctions against Iran to violate the Geneva deal, and the newly embargoed individuals and companies have been punished as an extension of the previous sanctions, and said, “Even if we imagine that they are right, such a behavior still runs counter to the spirit of the Geneva Agreement.”
“Besides, we basically believe that sanctions are illegal and wrong in essence and their form is also incorrect and unconstructive from our viewpoint,” the Iranian president added.
Asked by NBC network if the new US sanctions would damage the chance for striking a final deal with the world powers, the president said other 5+1 member states have not taken any action that Iran could deem as a damage to the talks since the Geneva deal was signed in November, and “the United States is the only country that Iran holds deep doubts about its good will for the settlement of the nuclear standoff”.
He once again reminded that the path of sanctions has proved to be wrong and would not yield any result, while it has been “harmful to all parties”. “The path which used to be adopted was a lose-lose path, and today everyone is after a win-win game, although the negotiations are hard.”
Rouhani said there are, at least, three or four complex issues on the agenda of the talks which still need to go under further negotiations, including a series of talks later this week.
“We will continue the negotiations till we obtain results and we are hopeful that if the other side shows good will, we will be able to achieve understanding and agreement in the remaining period,” the Iranian president reiterated.
Rouhani said Iran would not stop the talks in retaliation for the new US sanctions, but Washington’s move is a damage to “trust and honesty” as a pillar of the negotiations.
He said no matter Iran and the six world powers can work out a permanent and final deal by the deadline or not, the tight sanctions regime which was in place against Tehran a year ago cannot be revived.
The Iranian president said the sanctions have already cracked and they cannot be mended.
His remarks came after the US imposed a set of sanctions against Iranian companies and individuals despite the interim nuclear deal cut in November 24, 2013, between Tehran and the six major world powers.
The US Treasury Department said on Friday that the sanctions have targeted shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six Iranian banks.
Earlier today Rouhani deplored the current sanctions on Iran as an aggression against his nation, and stressed that his administration will stand tough against those who have imposed these embargoes.
“Sanction is oppression and aggression and we should stand against this aggression, suppress the aggressor and do not let the sanctions be kept in place and repeated,” President Rouhani said addressing the closing ceremony of Shahid Rajayee Festival in Tehran on Saturday.
President Rouhani’s remarks came after the US Treasury Department on Friday imposed new sanctions against a number of Iranian shipping firms, oil companies and airlines as well as six Iranian banks.
“We will not waste even a moment on this path and we will do our best; it does not mean that we are afraid of the sanctions or we cannot live without the removal of sanctions, as our people have lived under sanctions all throughout the past years,” the Iranian president said.
President Rouhani pointed to the unsparing efforts made by the Iranian foreign ministry, and said they have a difficult mission to accomplish. “(Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad) Zarif, his deputies and colleagues have made good efforts on this path and whenever it has been needed I personally have taken charge of the responsibility.”
Earlier this month, President Rouhani said the US-led sanctions have harmed both the eastern and western states and their removal would help strengthen security and stability in the region.
“We have weakened and shaken the bases of sanctions and the conditions will never return to the past, we are serious and determined in the negotiations (with the world powers), but the world should know that the opportunity provided by the Iranian nation is not indefinite,” Rouhani said, addressing an economic forum in Tehran.
“An agreement (between Iran and the Group 5+1) will benefit all and the western and eastern countries are telling us that the sanctions have harmed them and the removal of sanctions will benefit all,” he added.
“On the other hand such an agreement will strengthen stability in the entire region and God willing, if the two sides enjoy a good will, we can reach a final settlement over this issue,” Rouhani underlined.