Washington’s policy of maximum pressure has not worked: Zarif

September 22, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Washington’s policy of sanction and pressure against Iran has not worked.

“The United States is running out of options. It is desperate. The policy of maximum pressure has not worked,” he told CGTN in an interview aired on Sunday.

Pointing to recent sanctions on Central Bank of Iran (CBI), he said that the difference between these sanctions and previous sanctions on the CBI are twofold.

“First, central bank based on the sanctions cannot even be involved in transactions on food and medicine. It means that the central bank which is primary source of money for companies that buy food and medicine for Iran cannot finance them anymore. That means targeting the daily lives of ordinary people. Second, the difference between this designation and the previous designation is that it makes it more difficult for the next administration to remove these sanctions,” he stated.

Zarif says through sanctions on Iran’s central bank they want to make negotiations between Iran and the United States “impossible”, adding Trump “just imposes a type of sanctions on Iran, on the central bank of Iran that would be very difficult for him and for his successor to remove.”
He added, “So, they want to make negotiations impossible. They want to make a change impossible. So, you need to re-examine the position of President Trump that he wants to negotiate with Iran. He just imposes a type of sanctions on Iran, on the central bank of Iran that would be very difficult for him and for his successor to remove.”

Trump said on Friday that he has ordered sanctions on Iran’s central bank at “the highest level.” Trump, who had initially imposed the sanctions applied to Iran’s central bank, said the new penalties on Iran mark the “highest sanctions ever imposed on a country.”

Zarif said on Saturday that the U.S. sanctions on the central bank shows “desperation” and failure of “maximum pressure”.

In a tweet, Zarif said that the sanctions displays “the preventing of CBI from financing import of food and medicine for our people”.

He added that the sanctions also display “B_Team’s fear of U.S. return to negotiation and “B_Team’s efforts to drag into war”.

Abdonnaser Hemmati, governor of Iran’s central bank, also said late on Friday that the new sanctions prove Washington’s inability to impose more pressures on the Islamic Republic.

“The U.S. administration’s imposition of sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran again shows how empty their hands are in finding leverage against Iran,” Hemmati stated.

“If such measures had been effective in pushing the cruel demands of that administration, the economic situation in the country (Iran) would be very different from the current one,” he added, according to Tasnim.

“The repeated failures of the U.S. administration over the past year and a half show that these sanctions have become more ineffective than ever,” the central banker said, adding that the Iranian economy has proven its resilience to sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi also said on Saturday that Washington must admit failure of its sanction policy against Iran.

He described the U.S. foreign policy as “confused” and “frustrated” which is just based on “unilateralism, bullying and economic terrorism” and lacks “wise and dynamic initiatives” to settle issues peacefully. 

“I hope the United States’ officials will understand that they are not the only economic superpower anymore and that there are many countries which are interested in enjoying Iran’s market and economic opportunities.

Mousavi urged the international community to devise a new economic and business system to reduce effects of the U.S. hostile actions.

NA/PA

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