US to accept nothing short of Iran’s surrender: envoy

TEHRAN, Apr. 10 (MNA) – Iran's Ambassador to Belgium Gholam Hossein Dehghani said US wants Iran to surrender to its demands, casting doubt on Washington's intention to ease sanctions should Iran make a direct plea for their removal.

In an op-ed published by Euronews on Thursday, Dehghani censured Washington over ignoring the global calls for sanctions relief as Iran is battling the deadly new coronavirus, which has killed 4,110 people in the country. 

"By this, they probably mean a direct plea to the US government to obtain the relief. They even went so far as to blame the entire international campaign as Iran’s sanctions relief scam. Is the US government stalling such relief only pending a direct request from the Iranian side? Or, could it be a matter of the US administration’s policy within the broader maximum pressure campaign?” he wrote.

Dehghani said that "first and foremost, as a matter of principle, Iran does not recognize the unilateral sanctions of the United States and deems these unilateral coercive measures illegal and a violation of international law".

Dehghani said that the US is seeking "maximum expectations" from its "maximum pressure" campaigning, saying that Washington wants Iran to surrender.

"It appears the maximum pressure campaign set a maximum expectation for the Trump administration too. The secretary of state’s remarks to the effect that Iran had to listen to the United States, 'if they want[ed] their people to eat' is a stark reminder of such expectation. Also, President Trump’s adamant insistence that Iran call them is as telling an example of this mentality. In this light, they will accept nothing short of Iran’s surrender," he said.

"Under such circumstances, even the slightest hint would be interpreted in a maximalist light as Iran’s submission," said Dehghani, stressing that, "this maximum expectation will no doubt breed disappointment for the US administration."

He expressed deep disdain for the course of action the US has adopted since 8 May 2018 "when Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed its sanctions. Dehghani noted that “smart diplomacy is the sum of the many small steps towards confidence-building.”

"Iran is not alone in rejecting the legitimacy of US sanctions. The European Union, for its part, does not recognize the extraterritorial effects of third-party legislation, and forbade the compliance by EU citizens with the extraterritorial effects of certain sanctions that serve the foreign policy objectives of a third country at the expense of the sovereignty of EU member states."

He pointed to the recent remarks made by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who said sanctions should not block deliveries of medical equipment and supplies to countries working to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The Iranian ambassador also pointed to various calls from international bodies, including the UN for the removal of sanctions against those countries affected by the coronavirus and said, "COVID-19 is not a national issue; it is not confined to a certain geography, region, nation, culture and so on. It has created a unique moment of global solidarity."


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