Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday said that the United States was addicted to sanctions, reported CNN.
“I believe there is a disease in the United States and that is the addiction to sanctions,” said Zarif. “Even during the [Barack] Obama administration, the US put more emphasis on keeping the sanctions it had not lifted rather than implementing its obligation on the sanctions it lifted.”
The US had failed to understand that imposing sanctions would not achieve the desired political results, the minister said. “We felt that the US had learned that at least as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce, and I thought that the Americans had learned that lesson,” he said. “Unfortunately I was wrong.”
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran while maintaining that he remained open to forging a new nuclear deal. In May, Trump announced he was pulling the US out of an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran, calling it “decaying and rotten”.
Zarif clarified that Iran did not wish to revisit the deal. “We want the US to implement that nuclear deal,” he said. The minister described the US as a “bully”, saying that the country’s closest European allies were unhappy with the sanctions against Iran. “The US is basically arm-twisting – its attempt to put pressure,” he said. “I don’t want to use the term bullying ... [but] that’s what it amounts to.”
After the US reimposed sanctions, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said that the country would neither go to war nor hold negotiations. “Recently, US officials have been talking blatantly about us,” he tweeted. “Besides sanctions, they are talking about war and negotiations. In this regard, let me say a few words to the people: There will be no war, nor will we negotiate with the US.”