Zarif: Talks impossible unless U.S. ends ‘economic terrorism’

August 30, 2019

TEHRAN – The United Sates must return to the 2015 nuclear deal and end its economic terrorism against Iran before seeking negotiations with the Islamic Republic.

“The United States is engaged in an economic war against the Iranian people and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” Zarif said in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, according to Press TV.

“So if they want to come back into the room there is a ticket that they need to purchase and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” he stated, adding that Iran is not willing to meet for the sake of meeting and “we need to meet if there is result.”

Zarif’s remarks come days after French President Emmanuel Macron voiced hopes for a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and his American counterpart Donald Trump in the next few weeks.

Macron said that G7 leaders had agreed to a joint action on Iran with the aim of defusing tensions and opening a new round of negotiations with Tehran.

“We agreed on what we wanted to say jointly on Iran,” Reuters quoted Macron as saying last week. “There is a message from the G7 on our objectives and the fact that we share them is important, which avoids divisions that in the end weaken everybody.”

“Everyone wants to avoid a conflict, Donald Trump was extremely clear on that point.”

Earlier, a French official said the French president had shared details of the plan to ease tensions with Iran during his working lunch with President Donald Trump at the G7 summit. 

The official, who was speaking anonymously in accordance with the French presidency’s customary practices, said France has been working for several weeks on the plan.

The diplomat said France and the United States share the same interests, which he claimed to be preventing “a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with last week with Macron in Paris to discuss the implementation of the nuclear deal, which is also known as the JCPOA.

“France presented some suggestions to Iran on how to implement the JCPOA and the steps that both sides need to take. We also presented some suggestions on how to fully implement the JCPOA,” Zarif stated.

Trump has adopted a maximum pressure policy against Iran since he walked away from the JCPOA. The policy includes sanctions on Iran’s economy, especially its oil exports, and bans on top Iranian figures and organizations. At the same time, the U.S. president has pushed for talks with Tehran.

Iranian leaders have openly rejected the notion of talks with the U.S. as long as its illegal sanctions against Tehran are in place.

MH/

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