Foreign ministry releases statement on disputes over Zarif's interview with Der Spiegel

TEHRAN, Jan. 27 (MNA) – Iranian ministry of foreign affairs released a statement on Monday evening addressing the recent disputes over FM Zarif's recent interview with Der Spiegel.

Asked by Der Spiegel, a few days ago, whether he rules out the possibility of negotiations with the US following the assassination of Iranian top commander Lt. Gen. Soleimani, Zarif had said that “No, I never rule out the possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities. For us, it doesn’t matter who is sitting in the White House. What matters is how they behave. The Trump administration can correct its past, lift the sanctions and come back to the negotiating table. We’re still at the negotiating table. They’re the ones who left. The US. has inflicted great harm on the Iranian people. The day will come when they will have to compensate for that. We have a lot of patience.”

Zarif's remarks have ignited a chorus of criticism among a group of Iranian officials.

Foreign ministry's Monday statement follows:

The foreign ministry's Monday statement is as follows:

1. One of the goals of the United States in the diplomatic battle with the Islamic Republic of Iran is to present a militant image of Iran, the one it had sought to create for decades through the media and psychological warfare.

This false and contradictory picture of the Islamic system collapsed following the JCPOA negotiations and the world found out that making the Islamic Republic of Iran a security issue is Zionist deceit and that Iran is not only a law-abiding and rational country but also at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.

The unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA and the assertion that the nuclear was in favor of Iran and that the United States was harmed - while demonstrating Iran's strong diplomatic and logical ability to defend the legitimacy and demands of the Iranian nation - actually proved that in the fact it is the United States of America that has failed to abide by international law and is abstaining from dialogue and violating international obligations.

By the assassination of Martyr Lt. General Qasem Soleimani, the hero of the fight against terrorism, it has been proven to the world's public opinion that it is the US government that is at the forefront of terrorism protectors worldwide.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to defending the dignity of the Islamic Republic by utilizing its legal and diplomatic abilities and has succeeded, in the international arena, by relying on the strategic support and guidance of the supreme leader in representing the Islamic Republic in the region and in the world, despite the unlawful pressures and efforts of the United States of America.

Zarif has dismissed any possibility of a bilateral meeting between Iran and the US as “wishful thinking.” In a tweet on Sunday he wrote, “@realDonaldTrump is still dreaming about a bilateral meeting—to satisfy HIS lust for a "Trump deal". It’s wishful thinking."

Zarif went on to add that “The only possible venue for talks is at the P5+1 table—which HE left—reverting to pre-2017, AND compensating Iran for damages.”

The tweet followed an earlier one by Zarif, in which he mocked Trump for rejecting what he falsely interpreted as Zarif’s call for bilateral talks with Washington on the condition of lifting US sanctions against Iran.

Zarif then urged Trump to base his foreign policy decisions on “facts” rather than biased news headlines of his favorite right-wing Fox News TV outlet, or his Farsi translators.

Zarif’s remarks were in reaction to Trump’s tweet – written in both Farsi and English -- earlier in the day in which he claimed the Iranian foreign minister wanted to “negotiate” with Washington and “sanctions removed.” He then rejected the purported request by writing: “No Thanks!”


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