U.S. pressure on Iran out of frustration: Zarif

June 9, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the United States is exerting pressure on Iran out of “frustration” and “weakness”.

“The U.S. puts pressure on Iran out of weakness and frustration. However, we will weather this pressure,” he said during a ceremony held at Allameh Helli High School in Tehran.

He noted, “Today, we are not in the position of weakness. We are in the position of power. The U.S. has made serious mistakes. It [the U.S.] and its regional allies have felt weakness.”

The chief diplomat said that the Iranian people should be proud of their resistance.

Elsewhere, he said that the U.S. economic power will be reduced if countries eliminate dollars from their economic system.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, issued a statement on Friday voicing concern about “inequalities” in the global economic system, a reference to the U.S. dominion. Putin specifically called for the elimination of the U.S. dollar from international trade.

The Russian and Chinese officials also denounced the unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Iran.

Zarif urges Europeans to normalize economic ties with Iran

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Zarif told reporters that the Europeans and other remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal should normalize economic ties with Iran.

He also noted that the Europeans are not in the position to criticize Iran for things that are not related to the JCPOA, the official name for the nuclear deal.

On May 8, Iran announced a partial withdrawal from some aspects of the pact, saying that the country would no longer adhere to some of the limits on its nuclear activities. It also threatened to step up uranium enrichment if an agreement is not made within 60 days to shield it from the sanctions’ effects.

Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to put caps on its nuclear work in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions. However, Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal in May 2018 and ordered reimposition of sanctions against Iran. The first round of sanctions went into force on August 6 and the second round, which targets Iran’s oil exports and banks, were snapped back on November 4.

Also, on April 22 the U.S. announced that Washington has decided not to extend waivers allowing major importers to continue buying oil from Iran. The waivers ended on May 2.

'We will see'

Commenting on remarks by U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook who has claimed Iran’s missile capabilities are just the result of Photoshop and deceitful camera work, Zarif said, “We will see”.

“Iran has photoshopped images of missile launches to try and show its increased missile capabilities. They’ve also photoshopped antiquated aircraft and tried to pass them off as new stealth fighter jets,” Sputnik quoted him as saying on Saturday.

‘Trump’s economic war targeting ordinary people’

Zarif also said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic war on Iran should be stopped.

“This economic war has targeted the ordinary people and should be stopped,” he said.

On Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Iran on June 12-14, Zarif said that Iran has told Abe that economic war should be stopped.

Zarif told ABC News in an interview published on June 2 that Iran will not be intimidated by President Trump’s “art of the deal pressure” by using economic sanctions to push Iran to negotiate a new nuclear deal.

He said that “there will be consequences” if the U.S. keeps up its economic pressure campaign against Iran’s people.

Zarif labeled the new U.S. sanctions as “economic terrorism” that “targets ordinary Iranian people” because even though food and medicine are exempted from the sanctions, the financial transactions associated with them are not.

“If the objective of President Trump is to impose pressure on normal Iranians, on ordinary Iranians, he is certainly achieving that,” Zarif said. “But he will not achieve his policy objectives through pressure on the Iranians.”

NA/PA

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