Zarif: U.S. isolated after IAEA Board of Governors meeting

July 12, 2019

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States became politically isolated in an emergency meeting held by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Speaking on Thursday with Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network on the failure experienced by Washington, Zarif said, “The U.S. political isolation will soon lead to an economic one.”

The emergency meeting of the 35-member board was held a day earlier at U.S. request to address Iran’s exceeding of the limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal on its uranium enrichment level, regardless of the fact that Washington itself committed the biggest breach against the agreement last May by leaving it.

Iran surpassed the 3.67-percent level in reaction to the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear accord and also in order to prompt other deal partners to ensure Tehran’s business interests under the accord.

According to Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharib-Abadi, the U.S. had approached various delegations to have them join the request for the board meeting, but eventually had to make the request itself. 

During the interview, Zarif also said the U.S. is abusing the dollar’s power too much, and will gradually lose this advantage.

He also said Iran is prepared to confront any threat posed by the U.S. on any scale.

Iran is not after tension and war, but “they would be met with a decisive response if they rose in confrontation,” he said, Press TV reported.

He also stated that Iran’s countermeasures were reversible if the U.S. sanctions were lifted and the Europeans honored their trade commitments to the Islamic Republic.

After leaving the nuclear agreement last year, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the U.S. re-imposed the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal and added new ones. It has also threatened the countries keeping their trade with Iran with “secondary sanctions.”

“The U.S. political isolation will soon lead to an economic one,” Zarif predicts.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Foreign Minister Zarif lashed out at Washington for unilaterally pulling out of the JCPOA, which was struck between Iran and six major powers. 

He reiterated that the U.S. isolated itself on the world stage by withdrawing from the JCPOA, citing Washington’s failure to gain support for its anti-Iran accusations at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.

“Under the current circumstances, the U.S. feels it has been defeated both politically and operationally,” he remarked.

“One of the reasons for the United States’ defeat is the [Iranian] people’s resistance,” the chief diplomat noted, adding that the “wrong policies pursued by the U.S. and its regional allies” have only made the resistance movement stronger.

He also said the U.S. needs to stop its “economic terrorism” against the Iranian nation if it really seeks talks with the Islamic Republic.

“We do not hold negotiations with those who have waged economic terrorism against our people. This must stop.”

MH/PA