Zarif says EU losing relevance

April 13, 2021 - 17:8

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday strongly condemned EU’s passiveness towards the sabotage act in the Natanz nuclear facility, stating that the European Union must be ashamed of itself and promised that Iran’s nuclear industry will come back stronger. 

“When Mr. Trump came to power, Iran used only IR1 centrifuge, today it operates a chain of IR6 centrifuges,” Zarif said during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Tehran.

Zarif reminded the current U.S. government that the “maximum pressure” policy against Iran does not work. 

“And Americans should not forget that when Donald Trump took office, Iran had 300kgs of enriched uranium, while now we have more than 4000kgs of enriched uranium,” Zarif stated.  

Noting that Iran will come back stronger after sabotage at the Natanz electricity grid, Zarif said, “Before the recent terrorist attack, 5,000 IR1 centrifuges were enriching (uranium) in Natanz. After the recent terrorist attack, we will definitely go back to more advanced centrifuges.”

The high-ranking diplomat emphasized after 42 years of testing the Iranian people, the Americans should have understood that the way to deal with Iran is not making threats. 

“The way to deal with Iran is not nuclear terrorism,” the minister remarked.

In remarks at the Parliament National security and Foreign Policy Committee on Monday Zarif called the sabotage at Natanz nuclear terrorism.
 
The Iranian foreign minister also thanked Russia for its position against the sabotage in the facility, and put an emphasis on the need for continued cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.

He also urged the United States to return to its obligations under the JCPOA without delay and to lift all sanctions on Iran.

Iran has been insisting that the U.S. must lift all sanctions in one step and that their lifting should verified.
Official in Iran has been insisting that if all sanctions are lifted and verified Iran will overturn its remedial measures.
 
“Slowly Iran will also take action after verification, and we have no problem returning to fulfilling our obligations,” Zarif reiterated.

‘Sabotage and sanctions won’t give U.S. tools for pressure in nuclear deal talks’    

Zarif added, "Americans need to know that neither sanctions nor sabotage will give them the tools to negotiate, and they need to know that these actions will make things more difficult for them." 

Zarif also urged the U.S. to provide a list of all sanctions it has imposed on Iran.

Reportedly the U.S. imposed 1,600 sanctions on Iran under different designations.

“If the United States wants to be able to return to the JCPOA, it must lift all sanctions and provide a list of all sanctions,” the chief diplomat said.

He added, “According to the JCPOA, it is the duty of the United States to provide a list of sanctions.”

“EU losing relevance”

The minister then shifted to European Union's Monday action in boycotting a number of Iranian military and judicial officials. 

“In recent years, the European Union has shown that it is gradually losing its relevance in international relations by failing to meet its obligations and succumbing to U.S. pressure.”

Zarif went on to bash the EU for their shameful position in regard to sabotage in Natanz along with sanctioning a number of Iranian officials, saying the EU should condemn the U.S. “terrorist threat” against the food and medicine security of more than 82 million Iranians. 

Iran has called U.S. illegal sanctions imposed during the Trump presidency as examples of “economic terrorism” and “medical terrorism”. 
So far, the EU has avoided to condemn sabotage in Natanz, just saying the incident “might be a destructive action” amid nuclear deal talks with Iran.
 
“Instead of what happened at Iran's enrichment complex, which is under the supervision of the IAEA, they ignore these issues very softly and at the same time act against the Iranian military authorities,” Zarif regretted.

“Great shame for Europe”

Foreign Minister Zarif also said it is “great shame” for Europe that it follows the policies pursued by most extremist groups in the U.S. and Israel. 

These events prove to the world that the European Union “has no place in the world”, he said, adding, “The European Union is not only following the policies of the United States, but also the most extremist groups within the United States and the Zionist regime, and I think this is a great shame for Europe.” 
 
He said the Foreign Ministry will definitely deal with this action by the EU, announcing that Iran is considering the possibility of imposing sanctions on Europeans who were involved in “this illegal move”.

He said the European Union is not morally in a superior position in respect in terms of upholding human rights. 

“Europe should know that it is not in a moral superior position and cannot preach to the world, a Europe in which xenophobia and anti-Islamism have created terrible conditions for Muslims. This Europe has neither the reputation nor the position to boycott the Iranian authorities.”


Zarif expresses hope production of Sputnik V vaccine will start in Iran  

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif expressed hope that with the agreement reached between Tehran and Moscow production of Sputnik V vaccine will start in Iran.

He also expressed hope that it will be possible for Iran to buy more vaccines from Russia to meet its needs.

Iran-Russia at “highest level of interaction,” Lavrov says

For his part, Lavrov said that Tehran and Moscow have reached the “highest level of interaction” in bilateral relations. 

He also said that in his Monday talks with Zarif the two parties discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation in political, trade, economic, human rights and other fields with a primary focus on joint projects in the field of energy transfer.
 

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