US must end economic war if wants to join 4+1 in nuclear talks

TEHRAN, Sep. 21 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says if Washington wants to join discussions regarding the future of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it must first lift its economic sanctions against Iran.

“The US must end its economic war against the Islamic Republic and then become an official member to the deal - as 5+1 - or a guest - as 4+1,” Zarif told reporters in New York on Friday.

Iran, which had been fully complying with all of its commitments despite the US pullout and the European shortfalls, began scaling down its commitments to the JCPOA in early July.

Zarif also reacted to the United States' recent sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, saying the move clearly shows Washington’s “desperate approach” toward the Islamic Republic.

“The Americans have imposed any sanctions they could on the Islamic Republic. What they are doing now is sanctioning an entity which has been sanctioned before under a different pretext,” he added.

“The new sanctions are aimed at blocking Iran’s international transactions and its access to food and medicine. This move is unacceptable and dangerous.”

Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump announced the move and added that the sanctions imposed on Iran’s Central Bank were the highest sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by Washington.

In response to the move, Iran's Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati described the new sanctions a sign of Washington's inability to exert “leverage.”

Ever since quitting the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, Trump has been running what he refers to as a "maximum pressure" campaign, which seeks to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence.

The tense situation between the two countries has become more complicated since Yemen’s recent attacks on Saudi oil installations.

Yemen’s Ansarullah conducted strikes on two of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on September 14, in Abqaiq and Khurais. The attacks led to a halt in about 50 percent of the Arab kingdom’s crude and gas production, causing a surge in oil prices.

The Yemeni forces publicly took credit for the attacks, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly blamed Iran.

Tehran has categorically rejected the claim, while there has been speculation that the US may take military or other forms of action against Iran or Iranian interests.

Zarif has warned that a possible military strike against Iran by the US or Saudi Arabia would unleash an “all-out” war in the region.


News Code 150257


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