Zarif: US threats and sanctions won’t work on Iran

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Iran’s Foreign Minister said that recent bans and sanctions by the US won’t work with his country, adding that the nuclear deal must be maintained and its terms are not open for negotiations.

Trump has said during his election campaign that Iran’s nuclear deal as “disastrous” and said it would be his “number one priority” to dismantle it.

These threats became clearer after Trump’s inauguration, as he signed an executive order temporarily barring thousands from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Iran, from obtaining visas to travel to the United States.

The tension was raised again in issues related to Iran’s ballistic program, as he said that “Iran is playing with fire” and announced that “we’re officially putting Iran on notice.”

In addition, Trump declared applying sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program and those providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the recent US bans imposed on Iran, the first by the US government since President Trump took office on January 20, and said sanctions would never work with Iran

“Everybody [in] the past who has tested Iran knows we don’t respond well to threats. We respond well to mutual respect and mutual interests,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

He noted that all efforts by the Obama administration to use economic sanctions to curtail Iran’s peaceful nuclear program eventually failed.

“The reason Obama came to the negotiating table was because sanctions did not work,” Zarif said.

“Iran with the backing of the wise participation and support of the great Iranian nation, will respond proportionately and reciprocally to any move that targets the interests of the Iranian people,” Zarif said in a statement.

The nuclear deal will not be changed

Zarif also said that the nuclear deal will stay in place, despite noises to the contrary from members of US President Donald Trump’s administration.

Zarif added that there was an international consensus not to let the agreement — which took two years to negotiate — unravel.

“I believe everybody, including experts in the United States, knows this was the best deal possible for all concerned, not just Iran but the US too,” he said.

“It was a triumph of diplomacy over coercion because coercion doesn’t work anymore.”

Trump travel ban insult to all Iranians

In response to a question about Trump’s proposed, but currently stalled, travel ban on seven mainly Muslim countries, including Iran, Zarif said the decision “was an affront to the entire nation.”

“You cannot find any Iranian who has committed a single act of terror against Americans, in any of these atrocities that have taken place,” he said.

He added, “Iran has always condemned every single terrorist incident in the United States since 9/11.”

Zarif said Iranians were among the most successful immigrants to the US.

“They (US officials) don’t understand in a globalized world you cannot contain threats to one locality. Syria is now a training ground for terrorists creating havoc everywhere,” he finalized.