The US is addicted to sanctions: Zarif


Tehran (ISNA) – Amid US President's threats to walk away from the historic nuclear deal, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States is addicted to imposing sanctions but after four decades of such bans Iran is invulnerable.

“The United States has had a policy of imposing sanctions on Iran for the past 40 years. Basically, they have immunized us to US sanctions,” Zarif said in an interview with Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera released on Saturday.

“But from a global perspective, it seems that the United States is addicted to sanctions," he added in response to a question about speculations on a possible decision by US President Donald Trump and the Congress to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“They believe that sanctions do work. In fact, I think the American officials should have learned by now that sanctions don’t work. You cannot impose pressure on countries to abandon their sovereignty, to abandon their dignity for a few restrictions that the United States has imposed on them,” he pointed out.

"I think the sooner the United States realizes that this type of behavior, this type of policies bound to backfire and its bound to create resistance and strengthen the resolve of the people to pursue their own policies and their own interests. The sooner the United States achieves this important recognition of reality, the sooner it can adjust its policies in a way that would even serve the interests of the United States better."

Also in his interview, the Iranian foreign minister criticized the US president for his threats to walk away from the JCPOA and said such remarks would fail to "help peace and security in the region" and would harm Washington’s long-term interests.

“The nuclear deal is the result of 10 years of posturing and two years of negotiations. Unfortunately, this administration is going back to posturing," Zarif said.

“I think it is an ill-informed statement, because certainly, any deal would not be a perfect deal for all sides; it has to be less than perfect so all sides can live with it," he added in reference to Trump's remarks that the deal in not a good one for the United States.

The top Iranian diplomat warned that the international community could never trust the US again if it violated the deal.

He also emphasized that any US violation of the JCPOA would result in Iran's partial or complete withdrawal from the agreement, saying Tehran would be undeterred by threats of sanctions.

Zarif also addressed his country's strained relationship with Saudi Arabia, saying there was willingness in Tehran to initiate a rapprochement.

"We are willing to talk to Saudi Arabia about our difference ... We do not believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should have the type of relationship they have right now," he said.

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