JCPOA demise ‘a blow to diplomacy, not Iran’: FM Zarif

TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told RT that the demise of the Iran nuclear deal would be “a blow to diplomacy, not a blow to Iran.”

Tehran is self-reliant enough to survive without the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, but if Europe doesn't save it, it won't be the last international accord the US will trample, the foreign minister of Iran told RT.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared on Oksana Boyko’s show ‘Worlds Apart’ during his visit to Moscow, where he spoke to top-tier Russian officials. His trip comes at a time when European nations, fronted by France, are frantically trying to prop up the nuclear deal and to encourage Iran to stay in it.

“The Europeans must know that the appetite of the US for breaking international law – whenever and wherever it serves them – will not stop at [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” Zarif predicts.

“All of us, when we went to primary school or high school, we had bullies in our class. And bullies would not stop if people just look at them while they beat up another student. Once they beat up the first student, they go after the second, and the third, and the fourth,” Zarif said.

“A bully’s appetite will only grow if they see no reaction,” the Foreign Minister said.

The US quit the Iran nuclear deal over a year ago, re-imposing sweeping sanctions and promising to reduce Iran’s oil industry to zero. Zarif says his country has managed to recover, though he admitted the sanctions badly hurt its economy at first.

Iran has been through a forty-year experience of living under pressure, and “will build our future with or without the JCPOA,” Zarif vowed. The pact is “an important achievement that should not be destroyed,” but its demise – however regrettable – would be “a blow to diplomacy, not a blow to Iran.”

 “We will never negotiate under pressure, we will never negotiate with the knowledge that the outcome of these negotiations will only last for one presidency,” he said about the possibility of talks between Iran and the US.

As for the future of the US, Zarif predicts the weaponization of its economy – as well as its animosity towards Russia and China – will spell “the demise of American economic might.”

“We believe that the era of global hegemony is gone,” Zarif stressed.


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