US Must Honor Nuclear Deal If It Wants Talks with Iran - Zarif
By Staff, Agencies
The United States must observe a landmark nuclear deal and halt “economic terrorism” against Iran if it wants to hold talks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday.
Relations between Tehran and Washington have been tense since last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of the landmark 2015 deal that gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.
Trump said Monday he was ready to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani within weeks, in a potential breakthrough reached during a G7 summit in the French seaside resort of Biarritz.
Rouhani, however, said Washington must first lift sanctions imposed since its withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and Zarif reiterated the same message.
“The United States is engaged in economic war against the Iranian people, and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war, engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” he told reporters during a visit to Malaysia.
“We spoke to the United States, we spoke at length with the United States, we reached an agreement and they need to implement the agreement that we have reached before they expect to have more talks,” he added, referring to the nuclear deal.
Iran was still talking to other world powers involved in the deal, he said.
“If [the US] wants to come back to the room there is a ticket that they need to purchase, and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” Zarif added.
The statement came hours after a report that the US attacked and disabled a critical Iranian data base used to target oil tankers in the Gulf.
Trump’s announcement this week came after Zarif traveled to France on Sunday for the second time in a matter of days, and held meetings on the sidelines of the G7 summit.