Zarif tells CBS US sanctions 'hurt', but won't work

TEHRAN, Oct. 29 (MNA) – "Sanctions will have an economic impact, but they will not change policy. The United States must learn that," Iranian foreign minister said Sun.

Here is some highlights of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's interview republished from the CBS news website:

Do 'sanctions never change policy?'  

"Sanctions will have an economic impact, but they will not change policy. The United States must learn that," Zarif told CBS News in Tehran on Sunday. "The US has an addiction to sanctions and they believe that the sanctions are the panacea that resolve all the problems. They don't. They in fact hurt people and we have an obligation as a government to minimize the impact on the people. But sanctions never change policy."

"It is the first time that the Europeans are not only making statements against US, policy but are developing a mechanism to avoid these sanctions and to compensate for the sanctions," Zarif added.

"I didn't spend two and a half years in negotiating this deal in order to simply walk away from it, because I know that there won't be a better deal. There will never be a better deal for the United States," Zarif said. "I can assure President Trump with all his negotiating skills that this is the best deal that was possible. The best deal for us. The best deal for Europe. The best deal for the United States the best deal for Russia and China and the best deal for the international community."

The 'impact of those sanctions'

"Everybody believes that the impact of those sanctions have already affected the economy," Zarif told CBS News.   

"I think the Americans will have a bigger problem than that," he said. "Because then we will take our own measures in response."

No talks with US 

An Iranian parliamentarian, who's on the country's security committee, recently said there were secret talks going on right now in Oman to try and hash out revisions to the nuclear deal with the United States.

"No," replied Zarif.

When we pointed out that he had also denied any secret talks going on in Oman ahead of the nuclear deal, when the rough outlines were sketched out in unofficial discussions behind closed doors, Zarif said, "as soon as I became foreign minister, I moved to make them public."

If there are secret talks going on right now, one theme the US side might be interested in pushing is the fate of four US citizens and two US residents currently in Iranian jails.

Again, Zarif insisted there were no negotiations underway to try and secure those individuals' release, "but I'm not ruling out the possibility of negotiations."

"We've done it in the past. We can do it again," he said.


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