TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that sanctions will not compel the Islamic Republic to change its policies and the people do not expect the country to relinquish its rights.
“The sanctions put pressure on the people but will not lead to a change in policies. The Westerners should understand that pressure does not lead to a change in policies. We are obliged to decrease the pressure on the people… Sanctions hurt ordinary people, but the people do not expect the country to relinquish its rights,” Zarif said during a televised interview broadcast live on Iranian television late on Thursday.
“Most of these sanctions do not have a legal basis, and we must prove this to the world. On the other hand, we have to eliminate the grounds for sanctions through deft negotiations in the long term and the short term,” he said.
Zarif added, “The mechanism of the Security Council has been abused in dealing with a technical issue the place to deal with which was the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors. Basically, the imposition of sanctions did not have a sound basis from the outset and was a political move. We have to clarify this.”
“The unilateral sanctions of the United States, which have been imposed through exerting pressure and smearing, also have no basis.”
“According to the fundamental principles of international law, interference in the internal affairs of other countries is illegal. None of the U.S. sanctions against the countries which have financial transactions with Iran are legal.”
Commenting on the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, he said, “We do not think that nuclear weapons provide security for us. Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s doctrine, and not only it does not provide security for the country, but also it is a threat to our national security. We are a powerful country and do not need nuclear weapons.”
“Iran should be able to defend its rights in the international arena. We are ready to make it clear to the world that our nuclear issue will not be a threat to the world. If the West decides to show political will, the solution is close at hand,” he said.
Zarif also said, “We have to make others understand this fact that collective benefits can be obtained only through a win-win game.”
Iran’s nuclear negotiator to be appointed soon
On speculation that he would lead talks with the major powers over the country’s nuclear program, Zarif said, “The president and the establishment’s senior leaders must make decisions about the extent of the role of the Foreign Ministry in the nuclear issue.”
“A decision will be made about Iran’s nuclear negotiator in the next one or two weeks,” he added.
Iran has held several rounds of talks with the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over its nuclear program.
The talks have so far failed to make a breakthrough.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader