Iran’s robust, effective diplomacy cannot be sanctioned: Shamkhani

August 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, has said that Iran’s “robust and effective” diplomacy cannot be put under sanctions.

Following U.S. sanctions on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Shamkhani, a former marine chief, wrote a commentary in which he said U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called maximum pressure approach toward Iran has failed.

“By quitting the JCPOA [Iran nuclear deal] and adopting a maximum pressure approach against Iran, Trump tried to belittle his domestic rivals as well as the international community, with the hope to show that he is a different man and can gain the biggest benefit with smallest setback through his new-fangled ways,” Shamkhani wrote.

That is where the maximum pressure policy was pursued with measures aimed at weakening the pillars of the Islamic Republic, meaning the Leadership, the people, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and the diplomatic system, he noted, adding that sanctions were also employed as the least-costly measure to batter Iran.

According to Shamkhani, Iran’s “cold, revengeful response,” along with the constant improvement of national economy, effective beef-up of mobility at regional and international levels, as well as unwavering stances adopted by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, started to wear down on Trump’s hopes and put him face to face with a huge amount of criticism from the international community, his allies, and rivals at home.

“Imposing sanctions on the foreign minister after he turned down Trump’s offer of a meeting showed that the train to ‘maximum pressure’ has come to a halt at the ‘Disappointment Station’, leaving those on board with the sole option to change the rail and move towards upholding their commitments and recognizing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s legal rights.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s robust and effective diplomacy cannot be put under sanctions and neither Trump nor any of his allies can muffle the vibrant voice of Iran,” Shamkhani concluded.

The New Yorker on Friday reported that Just weeks before the Trump administration placed sanctions on Zarif last Thursday, Iran’s outspoken top diplomat was invited to meet with the president in the Oval Office.

According to the report, citing “American and Iranian sources and a well-informed diplomat,” the diplomatic overture was made by Senator Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, during a meeting with Zarif in New York on July 15th.

Zarif, however, turned down the invitation, just like President Rouhani had done last year during his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, not recognizing Trump’s overtures as they came despite insulting language and economic sanctions which disregarded the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

SP/PA

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