“The United States is engaged in an economic war against the Iranian people and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” Zarif told reporters in Kuala Lumpur as quoted by Financial Post.
Zarif is in Malaysia as the third leg of his three-nation Asian tour (China, Japan) to consult with senior officials on “bilateral relations, regional cooperation and cooperation in the Muslim world.”
“So, if they want to come back into the room there is a ticket that they need to purchase and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal from which the US unilaterally pulled out last year.
Tensions started to build up between the US and Iran after President Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, and imposed sanctions against Tehran in a bid to restrict the country’s trade transactions with the world. The Trump administration has been making empty calls for talks, but the Islamic Republic stresses that as long as sanctions are in place and the US refuses to return to the JCPOA, negotiations will be meaningless.
Meanwhile, President Rouhani said in recent comments that the key to “positive developments” is in the hands of Washington, saying as long as the US has not taken the first step to return to the JCPOA and lift all sanctions against Iran, the “door will remain locked.”