Zarif Says US Sanctions Iran Central Bank Out Of Desperation
By Staff, Agencies
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States' recent sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank clearly shows Washington’s “desperate approach” toward the Islamic Republic.
“The Americans have imposed any sanctions they could on the Islamic Republic. What they are doing now is sanctioning an entity which has been sanctioned before under a different pretext,” Zarif told reporters in New York on Friday.
“The new sanctions are aimed at blocking Iran’s international transactions and its access to food and medicine. This move is unacceptable and dangerous,” Zarif warned.
Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump announced the move and added that the sanctions imposed on Iran’s Central Bank were the highest sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by Washington.
In response to the move, Iran's Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati described the latest sanctions a sign of Washington's inability to exert “leverage.”
Ever since quitting the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] - in May 2018, Trump has been running what he refers to as a "maximum pressure" campaign, which seeks to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence.
Under the deal, Iran was committed to export its stockpiles of low enriched uranium exceeding 300 kilograms and heavy water exceeding 130 tones in order to stay within limits agreed to under the JCPOA.
Earlier in the week, Zarif said that Tehran had always remained committed to its international commitments but Washington should first show that it is trustworthy before it could be allowed back to negotiations with Iran over the future of the JCPOA, whose other signatories are Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany.