US has to ‘give up sanctions addiction’ – Iran says it can show why
Iran knows how to sober up the US from its “addiction to sanctions,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said, referring to Washington’s threatening of its allies with restrictions if they fail to pressure Tehran.
“Americans are addicted to sanctioning but we can show them that they have to give up their addiction,” Iranian top diplomat said in Tehran on Sunday as cited by local news agencies. The minister was addressing a meeting of Iranian envoys and representatives of private sector companies.
He added that “it’s become clear to the world” that Washington should stop the restrictive policies.
The US and its EU allies have locked horns over Iran since US President Donald Trump decided to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement. Since then, another row over trade shook the American-European relations and Iran can benefit from the situation, Zarif stressed.
“I’m not that naive to say we can wage a conflict between US and Europeans, but there’s a fracture between them from which we should take advantage of and we don’t need to be a bridge for their gap,” the minister said.
Trump has long criticized the nuclear accord, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), citing its alleged flaws. However, other signatures of the agreement, including the UK, Germany, France, Russia and China strongly opposed US leader’s stance, vowing to keep the deal with Iran even without the US.
The US has also been pushing its allies to join its tough stance on the Islamic Republic, warning that those who fail to cut Iranian oil exports to zero by early November would be targeted by sanctions. On Thursday, a group of 10 Republican senators issued a joint letter to the ambassadors from Britain, France and Germany saying they are “troubled” by possible European efforts to evade newly imposed US sanctions against Iran. They also warned about consequences for the failure to abide by US sanctions on Iran.
American and Iranian leadership have been involved a war of words, frequently exchanging hawkish threats. Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that a war with Iran would be “mother of all wars.” Trump took to Twitter to react on the statement, saying never threaten his country again or face “consequences the likes of which few have ever suffered before.”
“COLOR US UNIMPRESSED,” Zarif replied to Trump on Monday, noting that Iran has “been around for millennia” and seen the fall of many empires. Later this week the commander of the Iranian elite Quds Force said they “will destroy everything you own” should Washington dare to start a military conflict with Tehran.
The US leader’s handling of issues related to the Islamic Republic left most Americans unimpressed, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll. The majority of respondents said that would oppose starting a war with Iran, and more than a third admitted that Trump’s actions only worsened the situation.
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