U.S. deprived itself of dialogue by banning Zarif: government

August 4, 2019

TEHRAN – The Americans have deprived themselves of dialogue by sanctioning Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Sunday.

“Zarif is in charge of the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy … By sanctioning Zarif, they (Americans) deprived themselves of dialogue,” Rabiei told a press briefing.

On Wednesday, the U.S. government announced imposition of sanctions against Zarif, a move which was interpreted as a total rejection of diplomacy repeatedly claimed by the Trump administration.

The government spokesman says it is utterly absurd that the U.S., which claims to be an advocate of dialogue, has sanctioned Iran’s foreign minister right after inviting him to hold talks.

Ever since the announcement, there has been a huge torrent of support for the chief Iranian diplomat both at home and abroad. 

Rabiei said the overwhelming support for the foreign minister demonstrated Washington’s failure in isolating Iran on the world stage.

“The unprecedented aggression and clumsy sanction against Zarif is not an aggression against an individual, but it’s an aggression against the foundations of the Iranian government and nation,” he stated.

“The U.S. is still not free of the disease and addiction of [plotting] coups,” he said, adding, “I see the same mindset behind sanctioning Zarif.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA), reimposed the “harshest sanctions” on Iran and at the same time pushed for talks with Tehran. 

Tehran says a U.S. return to the JCPOA and lifting of the illegal sanctions are necessary prerequisites for any further collaboration with Washington.

The government spokesman said it is utterly absurd that the U.S., which claims to be an advocate of dialogue, has sanctioned Iran’s foreign minister right after inviting him to hold talks.

“If this action is not ridiculous then what is it?” he added.

Rabiei said domestic support for Zarif, especially as given by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military, showed internal unity in the face of U.S. hostilities.

MH/PA

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