Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says a recent proposal by US President Donald Trump to enter into negotiations with Iran over the country’s nuclear issue is nothing but a “publicity stunt” as he cannot be trusted with any new talks after withdrawing from Iran nuclear deal.
Addressing a ceremony to mark the National Journalists’ Day in Tehran on Monday, Zarif pointed to Washington’s withdrawal from the historic nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying, “Who will believe that Trump wants to negotiate with Iran?”
“The hours of our negotiations with America were perhaps unprecedented in history; then Trump signs something and say all [those negotiations] are void; can you negotiate with this person? Is this [negotiations offer] anything but a publicity stunt?” he asked.
Noting that the purpose and subject of any negotiations must be clear, Iran’s top diplomat added, “Negotiations must be worth their while.”
Iran’s foreign minister also stated that nearly 60 percent of the American people believed that Washington should not withdraw from the JCPOA while more than 180 countries expressed their support for the deal as well.
Washington seeks to create the atmosphere through propaganda that it is willing to negotiate with Tehran, but the Iranian people do not accept this, Zarif said.
The US president said on July 30 that he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, “any time they want to.”
The US president says he is ready to meet Iran’s President Rouhani without preconditions. Only hours later, his secretary of state sets conditions for the offer of talks with Iran.
“It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” Trump said.
In reaction to the US president, Zarif said the US should blame itself for ending talks with Iran when it left the JCPOA.
“Iran & US had 2 yrs of talks. With EU/E3+Russia+China; we produced a unique multilateral accord — the JCPOA. It’s been working. US can only blame itself for pulling out & leaving the table. Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won’t work. Try respect: for Iranians & for int’l commitments,” said Zarif in a post on his official Twitter account.
The US should blame itself for ending talks with Iran when it left the nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA,) says Iranian foreign minister.
Trump, allies isolated over anti-Iran policies’
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister said Trump and his main allies in the Middle East have become isolated by their policies against Iran.
“Today, all speak about the isolation of Trump, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad] bin Salman. These three persons are the symbol of suppression, violence and mistrust in the world,” Zarif said.
He added that all countries across the world have announced that they would not follow US policies against Iran, stressing, “The fact is that in today’s world, it is the US that has become isolated.”
The United States plans to re-impose a first round of sanctions against Tehran, which were lifted under the multilateral nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, on Tuesday. The sanctions will cover Iran’s purchases of dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its automotive sector.
Further sanctions on oil and transactions with the central bank of Iran will come into effect on November 4.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and that he plans to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
EU deeply regrets re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran
The European Union on Monday voiced its deep regret over the US renewal of sanctions on Iran, saying the 28-nation bloc and other signatories would work on keeping financial channels with Iran open.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and German, French and British Foreign Ministers Heiko Maas, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Jeremy Hunt, respectively, made the remarks in a joint statement.
“The JCPOA is working and delivering on its goal, namely to ensure that the Iranian program remains exclusively peaceful, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 11 consecutive reports,” the statement read.
“It (the JCPOA) is a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture, crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world,” it added.
The EU called on Iran to continue to fully implement all its nuclear commitments under the nuclear deal, saying, “We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran in accordance with EU law and with UN Security Council resolution 2231.”
“Preserving the nuclear deal with Iran is a matter of respecting international agreements and a matter of international security,” the statement pointed out.
The British Foreign Office also took to Twitter later on Monday, noting that the Iranian nuclear deal is “crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world.”