Sep 21, 2019 05:04 UTC
  • US sanctions Iran Central Bank out of desperation: FM Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States' recent sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank clearly shows Washington’s “desperate approach” toward the Islamic Republic.

“The Americans have imposed any sanctions they could on the Islamic Republic. What they are doing now is sanctioning an entity which has been sanctioned before under a different pretext,” Iran’s top diplomat told reporters in New York on Friday.

“The new sanctions are aimed at blocking Iran’s international transactions and its access to food and medicine. This move is unacceptable and dangerous,” Zarif added.

Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump announced the move and added that the sanctions imposed on Iran’s Central Bank were the highest sanctions ever imposed on a foreign country by Washington.

In response to the move, Iran's Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati described the new sanctions a sign of Washington's inability to exert “leverage.”

Earlier in the week, Zarif said that Tehran had always remained committed to its international commitments but Washington should first show that it is trustworthy before it could be allowed back to negotiations with Iran over the future of the JCPOA, whose other signatories are Britain, France, Russian, China plus Germany.

His comments echoed recent remarks by Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that Iran's commitment means the other side should also fulfill its obligations if it really wants to work with Iran.

On Friday, Zarif also insisted that if the US wanted to join discussions regarding the future of the JCPOA, it must first end its economic war against the Islamic Republic and then become an official member to the deal - as 5+1 - or a guest - as 4+1.

Iran, which had been fully complying with all of its commitments despite the US pullout and the European shortfalls, began scaling down its commitments to the JCPOA in early July.