Monday Dec 16, 201303:24 PM GMT
Iran’s Zarif, US Kerry discuss Geneva nuclear deal
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed a recent nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva.

Zarif and Kerry had a phone conversation after the new US-imposed sanctions against Tehran, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday.

“Following recent developments regarding the implementation of the Joint Action Plan [the Geneva deal], the US secretary of state and Dr. Zarif have had a phone conversation and our country’s foreign minister has expressed Iran’s dissatisfaction [with new US sanctions],” the ministry added.

It was the first time that Zarif and Kerry have talked by phone since Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain and the US - plus Germany clinched the nuclear deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24.

According to the Iranian foreign ministry, Zarif has also exchanged views with European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherin Ashton on the nuclear deal and the US new bans.

On December 12, the administration of US President Barack Obama issued new sanctions against more than a dozen companies and individuals for “providing support” for Tehran’s nuclear program.

The US Treasury Department said it was freezing assets and banning transactions of entities that had attempted to evade the sanctions against Iran.

The new US embargoes came despite the interim nuclear deal inked in Geneva which sought to set the stage for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program.

Under the Geneva deal, it was agreed that no more nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on Iran for a six-month period.

On Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister said the Islamic Republic would continue negotiations with the six major world powers but would respond prudently to any unconstructive and inappropriate action on the part of the Sextet.

“We will seriously pursue the Geneva talks, and we will of course give a proper, calculated, purposeful and smart response to any improper and unconstructive action,” Zarif added.

SF/HGH

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