Larijani: Zarif laid bare Washington’s wrong path

August 6, 2019 - 19:22

TEHRAN – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Tuesday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has laid bare the United States’ wrong path.

In reference to the United States’ newly imposed sanctions on Zarif, Larijani noted the foreign minister for his efforts to improve Iran’s ties with other countries.

On July 31, the United States declared sanctions on Zarif, a move which was interpreted as a declaration of sanctions on diplomacy, which the Trump administration repeatedly claims it seeks with Tehran.

Zarif himself told a press conference on Monday that while he was in New York recently, the Americans told him that unless he agreed to go to the White House to meet President Donald Trump, or would be sanctioned in two weeks.

Zarif visited New York in mid-July to participate at the annual session of the UN Economic and Social Council (UNOSOC).

The chief diplomat said the U.S. decided to sanction him when he revealed that the B-Team, among them White House national security advisor John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to lure Trump into a war with Iran.   

In another part of his Tuesday speech, Larijani said the United States has had no success in its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran even as American sanctions have impacted the Iranian economy.

Washington has been tightening the screws on Tehran’s main source of income, aiming to cut Iran’s oil sales to zero, after Trump reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic last year.

“The Americans have not achieved any success against Iran. They wanted to bring oil sales down to zero but they did not succeed,” Larijani said.

While the sanctions resulted in a decline in Iran’s oil sales and created some economic pressure, the Americans failed to achieve their primary goals, the speaker remarked.

Washington withdrew last year from an international nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015. It is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to bring Iran to negotiating table for a new deal to curb the country’s missile capabilities and its anti-Israeli policy in the region.

Lately, the U.S. has raised the ante by ordering military reinforcements, including a strike group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, to the Middle East to confront unspecified Iranian threats.

A series of suspicious attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and deliberate intrusion of U.S. aircraft into the Iranian airspace have brought tensions to a head. In June, Trump claimed that he had called off a military strike in response to Iran’s downing of a sophisticated American drone.

Larijani said, “The American adventurism has posed us a new problem every single day which has impacted our economy, so a clear analysis of their actions is needed.”

“Through economic pressure, they want to have Iran stuck in internal problems. They have ratcheted up pressure on people to stir economic discontent,” he said.