“It is clear that the path of our policies towards the US has not changed and the US is still bullying and practicing economic terrorism against the Iranian nation and it is not ashamed of saying publically that it is attempting to witness the Iranian nation hungry and as long as this policy continues, Iran’s policy will not change either,” Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.
He added that the US is also attempting to block flow of capital through the humanitarian channel launched by Switzerland to help Iran purchase the needed medicine and food, and noted, “We are much pessimistic about the US aims and measures.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh
Asked about Russia’s preparedness to help direct talks between Iran and the US, Khatibzadeh said that Tehran is sure about the Russian friends’ good will but is suspicious of Washington’s aims and behavior.
US President Donald Trump, a stern critic of the historic deal, unilaterally pulled Washington out of the JCPOA in May 2018, and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism in an attempt to strangle the Iranian oil trade, but to no avail since its “so-called maximum pressure policy” has failed to push Tehran to the negotiating table.
In response to the US’ unilateral move, Tehran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Tehran has particularly been disappointed with failure of the three European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany — to protect its business interests under the deal after the United States’ withdrawal.
On January 5, Iran took a final step in reducing its commitments, and said it would no longer observe any operational limitations on its nuclear industry, whether concerning the capacity and level of uranium enrichment, the volume of stockpiled uranium or research and development.
Now the US has stepped up attempts aimed at extending the UN arms ban on Iran that is set to expire as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has been endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231.
The US first sought to extend the Iran’s arms embargo in a fresh UNSC resolution in contradiction to the contents of the Resolution 2231 in two attempts within a month, but failed.
The United Nations Security Council resoundingly rejected last month the second US bid to extend an arms embargo on Iran, which is due to expire in October.
The resolution needed support from nine of 15 votes to pass. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only “yes” votes.
The United States has become isolated over Iran at the Security Council following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal 2018.
Iran had said that the US resolution would fail to gain the required support at the Security Council, pointing out that Washington has no legal right to invoke a snapback mechanism to reinstate sanctions against Tehran under the 2015 nuclear deal that the US unilaterally left in May 2018.
In relevant remarks in August, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said it is by no means justifiable for the US to use Dispute Resolution Mechanism with regard to UNSC Resolution 2231.
“US recourse to Dispute Resolution Mechanism in 2231 has NO LEG TO STAND ON,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter page late Sunday.
“AmbJohnBolton has repeated today what he said on May 8, 2018, while National Security Advisor in the Trump administration,” he noted, adding, “At least he is consistent—a trait notably absent in this US administration.”
Zarif’ tweet came in reaction to former US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s article in Wall Street Journal where he criticized US’ decision to trigger ‘snapback mechanism’ against Iran, saying, “The agreement [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]’s backers argue that Washington, having withdrawn from the deal, has no standing to invoke its provisions. They’re right. It’s too cute by half to say we’re in the nuclear deal for purposes we want but not for those we don’t.”