“U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, Israel emboldened them for atrocity”

Zarif: U.S. sanctions will not work

October 30, 2018

TEHRAN- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that although U.S. sanctions on Tehran hurt, they will not work.

"Sanctions will have an economic impact, but they will not change policy. The United States must learn that," Zariff told CBS News in Tehran on Sunday. “The U.S. has an addiction to sanctions and they believe that the sanctions are the panacea that resolve all the problems. They don't. They in fact hurt people and we have an obligation as a government to minimize the impact on the people. But sanctions never change policy."

"It is the first time that the Europeans are not only making statements against U.S., policy but are developing a mechanism to avoid these sanctions and to compensate for the sanctions," Zarif said of impending U.S. sanctions set to be launched against Iran on November 4. 

"I didn't spend two and a half years in negotiating this deal [the 2015 Iran nuclear deal] in order to simply walk away from it, because I know that there won't be a better deal. There will never be a better deal for the United States," Zarif said. 

"I can assure President Trump with all his negotiating skills that this is the best deal that was possible. The best deal for us. The best deal for Europe. The best deal for the United States the best deal for Russia and China and the best deal for the international community."

With the nuclear deal under huge pressure following the U.S. withdrawal back in May, and the Iranian economy suffering when many had hoped it would be thriving under eased sanctions, it's been a rocky year in Iran.

"Everybody believes that the impact of those sanctions have already affected the economy,” Zarif told CBS News.   

As his country continues trying to pave a pathway forward with Europe and other parties to the nuclear deal, Zarif was adamant that no talks -- on or off the record -- were still taking place with Washington.

U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, Israel emboldened them for atrocity 

Zarif also told CBS News that the United States’ choices are to blame for the Middle East’s disasters.

"The United States' choices in the Middle East are wrong, and these wrong choices lead to the disaster in our region," Zarif said.

"We knew that the invasion of Iraq was the wrong choice, although Saddam Hussein was our enemy. We knew that the attack against Afghanistan was the wrong choice although Taliban were our enemy,” he added.

“We know that the invasion and attack, bombardment of Yemen are wrong choices,” Zarif noted, referring to Washington’s support for the 2015-present Saudi Arabia-led war on the Arab world’s poorest nation.

“But the United States is continuously and persistently on the wrong side," the Iranian top diplomat asserted.

Zarif said the U.S. had emboldened Saudi Arabia and Israel to stage their atrocities by providing the regimes with “blanket support.”

"I think the blanket support that the U.S. provides to Saudi Arabia and to Israel has enabled them to carry out atrocities that would not have happened, had there not existed this blanket support," he said.

The remarks came as the kingdom has come under mounting criticism for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post columnist and notable critic of Riyadh’s policies, who was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said recently that the kingdom would not have proceeded with the killing had it not been in receipt of U.S. support.

Washington is separately under pressure from high-profile rights groups to axe its arms sales to the kingdom and logistical support for the war on Yemen, which has killed thousands since its onset.

The U.S. is also Israel’s oldest and strongest ally, which has almost invariably blocked efforts at the United Nations to hold the regime responsible for its excesses across Tel Aviv-occupied Palestinian territories.

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