Zarif: United States addicted to sanctions

Mon 20 Aug 2018 04:23 GMT | 08:23 Local Time

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The United States is addicted to applying sanctions on Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

"I believe there is a disease in the United States and that is the addiction to sanctions," Zarif told CNN in the interview, adding that, "Even during the Obama administration the United States put more emphasis on keeping the sanctions it had not lifted rather than implementing its obligation on the sanctions it lifted."

Zarif expressed his dismay that the United States has not learned that sanctions are ineffective in changing the political climate in Iran, according to Vestnik Kavkaza.

"We felt that the United States had learned that at least as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce, and I thought that the Americans had learned that lesson. Unfortunately I was wrong," Zarif said.

Zarif dismissed the possibility of future talks with the Trump administration, and maintain the hope the deal can be revived. He said pressure from the European allies could persuade Trump to change his mind and accused the United States of "bullying" the European signatories to the deal.

"We do not want to revisit that nuclear deal. We want the United States to implement that nuclear deal. Today the closest US allies are resisting those sanctions. The US basically arm-twisting -- its attempt to put pressure. I don't want to use the term bullying ... [but] that's what it amounts to," the minister stressed.

Asked whether Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could benefit from a one-on-one meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Zarif said the previous nuclear deal had to be respected first. "Not when the previous huge progress that we made was thrown out," he said of a one-on-one. "That [previous deal] was for us the litmus test of whether we can trust the United States or not."

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