TEHRAN – The United States’ recent decision to blacklist additional companies and people under existing sanctions against Iran was “unhelpful” but does not mean that Washington has violated the letter of the Geneva agreement, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran and world powers clinched a deal on November 24, according to which Iran agreed to offer a number of concessions in exchange for limited relief from the sanctions imposed on the country.
“It shows a lack of understanding of how to proceed in order to resolve the nuclear issue. Some people are wedded to the idea that pressure will produce results. They are wrong. Pressure has produced 18,000 centrifuges in Iran. So if they want to continue that road, it is open to them but it doesn’t produce any results,” Zarif told Euronews correspondent Olaf Bruns on the sidelines of an EU delegation meeting in Tehran on Monday.
He added, “Now that the international community, the United States government, and the rest of 5+1 [the five members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany] and Iran have decided to move forward with a path toward resolution of this issue. I think that people should abandon failed policies, failed approaches and adopt new policies. So these activities derail the process, but I think there is a political will on the part of everybody to make sure that the process continues. Iran will react to any action that we consider to be unacceptable or inconducive to a resolution.”
On the possibility of imposing new sanctions by the United States, Zarif said, “No, I didn’t. If the U.S. Congress adopts new sanctions- or the U.S. administration, through executive order, decides to impose new sanctions, it would run counter to the letter of the Geneva agreement and that would mean that we don’t have a deal, because the deal has been violated.
“I believe that the actions that had been taken have been unhelpful by the U.S. Treasury Department, but it does not mean that they have violated in specific terms the letter of the agreement. It means that they have taken action that would question their intention to resolve this issue through negotiations and that is a major setback. But it doesn’t mean that they have taken action to kill the process.”