Dec 15, 2018 20:20 UTC
  • US sanctions will fail to change Iran policies: FM Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran will fail to have any impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic at home or abroad.

"It's obviously the case that we are facing economic pressure because of the US sanctions. [The] US is a major global power and it can actually create painful conditions for other countries. But would that lead to a change of policy? I can assure you that it won't," Zarif said on Saturday, Press TV reported.

"If there is an art, we have perfected in Iran and can teach to others for a price, it is the art of evading sanctions," he added.

Although the US has put so much pressure on Iran over the past 40 years, the Islamic Republic has managed to survive, he said.

"We've survived against the United States, against the will of the United States for the last 40 years, and I believe we will survive for the next 40 years," the top Iranian diplomat pointed out.

Zarif further said there was room for talks with the US but that Washington must "respect the outcome of the talks" they already had, in reference to the nuclear negotiations leading to the conclusion of the JCPOA.

"I can tell you as somebody who did all the talking for that document (the JCPOA) that neither Iran nor the United States can get a better document. So there is room for talk. But you need first to respect the outcome of the talks you already had," he added.

The Iranian foreign minister said, "There is no reason to engage in talks while the results of long and very difficult talks are still up in the air and the United States is actively trying to undermine those results."

Saudi Arabia wants increasing tension in Middle East

Elsewhere in his speech, Zarif said Saudi Arabia intended to increase tension in the Middle East, referring to the ongoing crisis in Yemen and the gruesome murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which is widely believed to have been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia does not want to reduce tension. Actually, Saudi Arabia believes that it is in its interest to increase tension," the Iranian foreign minister added.

He held the US and its ally Saudi Arabia accountable for the "humanitarian nightmare" in war-ravaged Yemen.

He emphasized that if the US and its Western allies, who have supported Saudi Arabia under all conditions, wanted to have more stability in the Middle East, they "need to show that bad behavior would get a bad response."