TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the notion that the Islamic Republic may engage in talks with the US administration and said Tehran is not seeking to have any contact with Washington.
In remarks on Sunday, Zarif pointed to his meeting earlier in the day with members of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission and said during the session, the latest developments regarding the US pressures, his recent trips, and visits by the Japanese prime minister and the German foreign minister to Iran as well as President Hassan Rouhani’s regional visits were discussed.
It was noted that the US government’s failed policy of “maximum pressure” is still in place, he said, adding that Washington’s claim that it is ready for negotiation with Iran is a sham.
“… we do not need the US nor do we seek contact with them,” the Iranian diplomat stressed.
“The economic war that Mr. Trump has referred to is economic terrorism in our viewpoint, therefore it should be stopped and (the US) should not disturb our relations (with other countries),” Zarif added.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.