By staff and agency

Kerry slams bankrupt policy of 'maximum pressure'

September 23, 2019

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran is the cause of escalation of tension in the region, calling policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran bankrupt.

“We have been pressuring them. Maximum pressure. And it was entirely foreseeable that that would result in further conflict. So we're seeing the unfolding of really a bankruptcy of approach,” he told CBS News.

“France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia, all still support a multilateral agreement that was a model of multilateral diplomacy. We came together, the world welcomed this, the United Nations Security Council ratified it, embraced it. And that still is there. Along comes President Trump and he pulls out. He broke the agreement… The escalation is the absolutely foreseeable and it was foreseen that this is what would happen. Why do I say that? Because we were ridiculed for saying that the alternative to what we were trying to do in making the agreement was war, was conflict,” he said.

He added, “I mean I- I personally had leaders in the Middle East telling me you’ve got to bomb Iran. We had a prime minister of Israel come to America and ask for a green light to bomb. So, we were averting war. And when we signed the agreement in- in Vienna, the initial agreement, we all agreed that this was a way to avoid a war and open up a channel of communicating, and diplomacy to be able to deal with legitimate other issues that are concerned with Iran.”

In an interview with CGTN aired on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 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 said.

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”.

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.”

Trump quit nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

NA/PA
 

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