Sanctions make Iranians hate US more: Iran FM

Sanctions make Iranians hate US more: Iran FM

Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:40PM GMT

Iran’s foreign minister says the US government has gained nothing but the Iranian nation’s hatred by toughening sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear energy program.

“The only thing that these sanctions have produced is the resentment of the Iranian people that the United States is putting pressure on them. Nothing else,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with the National Interest magazine.

He dismissed US officials’ allegations that Iran agreed to negotiate its nuclear energy program with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany under pressure from sanctions, saying, “No sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. If they say they brought Iran to the negotiating table, I tell them that we were prepared to negotiate.”

Zarif said Iran and the six countries – the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – will definitely reach a permanent deal should Washington “come to the understanding that sanctions are not an asset.”

“There is a deal at hand; within reach. The question is whether the United States will come to the realization that sanctions were a means to an end – in the best case scenario – not an end in themselves,” said the Iranian foreign minister.

He expressed regret that certain US officials continue to view the sanctions as an “extremely important asset for them,” noting that the United States is expected only to “get an agreement that can lead to the removal of sanctions.”

Last November, the Islamic Republic and the six countries signed an interim deal in Geneva, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, the two sides agreed to extend negotiations until November 24 this year after they failed to reach common ground on a number of key issues.

“Obviously, if we resolve the nuclear issue, there will be one less obstacle in reducing tension, at least, between Iran and the United States,” the Iranian foreign minister stated.

Zarif said Iran-US problems are not “inherent or unavoidable,” reiterating that settling the nuclear issue will make the road “less cumbersome” for dealing with other issues.

The Iranian minister reaffirmed Tehran’s argument against development of nuclear weapons and noted that atomic bombs “have not created security for anybody.”

In 2012, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa (religious decree), saying the Islamic Republic considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons “a grave sin” from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint.

Leave a Reply