Zarif: Trump’s dream about bilateral meeting is ‘wishful thinking’

January 27, 2020 - 15:29

TEHRAN - Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s dreaming about bilateral meeting to reach a “Trump deal” is “wishful thinking”.

“Donald Trump is still dreaming about a bilateral meeting—to satisfy HIS lust for a ‘Trump deal’. It’s wishful thinking,” Zarif tweeted on Sunday.

Trump has been repeatedly seeking a rewriting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the 2015 nuclear agreement. 

He has also been seeking for direct talks with Iran. 

Zarif reminded him that talks is only possible within the 5+1 framework.

“The only possible venue for talks is at the P5+1 table—which HE left—reverting to pre-2017, AND compensating Iran for damages,” Zarif insisted.

In another tweet on Saturday, Zarif also advised Trump to base his foreign policy decisions on facts, rather than Fox News headlines or his Farsi translators.

“Donald Trump is better advised to base his foreign policy comments and decisions on facts, rather than Fox News headlines or his Farsi translators,” the chief diplomat said.

Trump said in a tweet on Saturday, “Iranian Foreign Minister says Iran wants to negotiate with The United States, but wants sanctions removed. @FoxNews  @OANN No Thanks!”

The tweet by Trump came after Zarif said in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that Tehran still does not reject talks on the condition Washington “correct[ed] its past” and removed a series of tough economic measures.

Zarif said Trump has misunderstood his remarks, suggesting that Trump must read the entire interview to be better informed.

“To be better informed, he can read my entire interview (in English)…,” Zarif stated.

Zarif posted an excerpt from his interview, when he was asked about the possibility of negotiations following the U.S. assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, advising Trump, “Too many words? Then just read this.”

Der Spiegel: Do you rule out the possibility of negotiations with the U.S. following Soleimani’s murder? 

Zarif: I never rule out the possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities. For us, it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the White House. What matters is how they behave. The Trump administration can correct its past, lift the sanctions and come back to the negotiating table. We’re still at the negotiating table. They’re the ones who left. The U.S. has inflicted great harm on the Iranian people. The day will come when they will have to compensate for that. We have a lot of patience,” Zarif said in the interview.

The JCPOA was signed between Iran and the 5+1 group — the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – plus Germany in July 2015. It was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council resolution.

However Trump unilaterally quit the nuclear deal in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said last week that U.S. President Donald Trump quit the JCPOA, just because it had President Barack Obama’s name on it.

“The Iran deal was working, but Trump ripped it all up just because it had Obama’s name on it,” Murphy said in a tweet.

Ben Rhodes, former Obama’s adviser, also said in July 2019 that Trump quit the JCPOA, because Obama negotiated it.

“Did anyone really need a leaked document from the UK Ambassador to know that Trump pulled out of the Iran Deal because Obama negotiated it?” Rhodes tweeted.

The Daily Mail reported in July 2019 that Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to the U.S., had said Trump discarded the nuclear deal for “personality reasons,” as the deal had been agreed to by Obama,.

Darroch said the Trump administration was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism” in its decision to abandon the JCPOA.

Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also told IRNA in an interview in October 2019 that Trump quit the nuclear deal because Obama signed it.

He said that the U.S. must admit that it made a wrong decision, urging the White House to return to the pact.

Straw said that the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA had “no logic”.


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