Iran will not only survive US sanctions but it will thrive: Zarif

TEHRAN, Nov. 20 (MNA) – Foreign Minister Zarif said Monday that “Iran will not only survive newly re-imposed US sanctions but it will thrive.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks after a meeting with the British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in Tehran on Monday in response to questions put forward by the Guardian's correspondent.

According to the Guardian, Zarif said “we are used to pressure and we are used to resisting pressure. Sanctions always hurt and they hurt ordinary people, but sanctions seldom change policy, and that has been the problem with US sanctions all the time. They do not take people back to the negotiating table. In fact, they strengthen the resolve to resist."

"We will certainly survive. We will not only survive – we will thrive. We have tried to minimize the impact on the population but the ordinary people are going to suffer, the economy is going to suffer,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

Zarif said he was confident the Iranian oil industry would find markets, even though the US measures have pushed down exports sharply. “There are always markets for oil, it depends on the conditions and the price,” he said. “I believe Iran will always sell oil.”

Zarif also challenged claims by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, that the sanctions had been constructed to exempt humanitarian supplies, such as food and medicine.

“The US has imposed financial sanctions on Iran,” he said. “When you want to transfer money, the bank does not ask whether it goes for food or other items – that is why sanctions always hit food and medicine."

“The US is not living up to its promises. We believe all sanctions are unlawful, and against UN security council resolutions, but the US is not even truthful to the commitment they have made.”

Zarif said Iran was frustrated by the slow pace of EU moves to help European companies that want to continue trading with Iran.

With regard to the EU-promised financial mechanism to keep trade with Iran under US sanctions, Zarif said “what is important is that Europe has made the political commitment but, unfortunately, so far as practicabilities are concerned, it has been very slow,” adding “Hunt gave me commitment that the UK believes in the nuclear deal, but we also need to see some action.” 

On Yemen, Zarif said Iran had been pushing for a ceasefire for years.

“The humanitarian nightmare cannot continue,” he said. “All the Yeminis are prepared to come to the negotiating table provided the [Saudi-led] coalition enables them to do so.”

The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on Monday in Tehran and conferred on bilateral ties as well as regional issues. While in Tehran for his one-day visit, Hunt also met with the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani.


News Code 139761


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