Zarif says engagement is losing credibility

July 20, 2019 - 19:44

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that engagement with the international community “is losing credibility”.

“Engagement has lost credibility at home. People don’t look at engagement with the international community — the United States, for one reason, for not keeping its word; the Europeans for another reason, for not being able to stand on their word. So, yeah, engagement is losing credibility, and by extension, I am losing credibility,” he told National Public Radio (NPR) in an interview published on Friday.

Following is highlights of the interview published by the NPR:

On economic consequences of the current sanctions

Right now our economy is suffering less than last year because the United States has continued [the sanctions] and we have gotten used to it. Our currency is stabilizing. The growth rate is improving. The jobless rate is improving. We certainly can do without oil revenues forever, and that is our goal. The United States is simply expediting it for us.

On instability in the region and whether Iran is pressuring the U.S. 

Well, we’re not attempting to pressure anybody, because we simply do our job. It is clear that a country that has 1,500 miles of coastline on the Persian Gulf is instrumental for security in that region. We are the strongest country in that region. Without us, you won’t have security in the region.

On engaging with the international community

Engagement has lost credibility at home. People don’t look at engagement with the international community — the United States, for one reason, for not keeping its word; the Europeans for another reason, for not being able to stand on their word. So, yeah, engagement is losing credibility, and by extension, I am losing credibility.

On how close Iran and the U.S. have been to war

President Trump said 10 minutes. It would have been [a war in June]. The United States can start a war, can't end it. ... Nobody who starts a war ends the war. That's the reality of history. ... Wars are destructive for all participants and even bystanders. And it would be destructive, that's why we don't want to engage in war. But that doesn't mean we will run away from war.
 

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