Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US Treasury’s blacklisting of entities transacting with the Islamic Republic is a “major setback” for the implementation of the groundbreaking November nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers.
“It means that they have taken action that would question their intention to resolve this issue through negotiations and that is a major setback,” Euronews quoted Zarif as saying in Tehran on Monday.
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 Iran’s nuclear energy program.
“I believe that the actions that had been taken have been unhelpful by the US Treasury Department,” Zarif said.
This is while, under an interim deal with Iran, the six world powers – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – agreed to refrain from imposing new sanctions against Iran over a six-month period.
“It shows a lack of understanding of how to proceed in order to resolve the nuclear issue,” the Iranian minister said, adding that ramping up pressure on Iran will not produce results because Iran developed 18,000 centrifuges under pressure.
“So if they want to continue that road – it is open to them, but it doesn’t produce any results,” he stated.
Zarif said “failed policies and approaches” must be abandoned as “the international community and Iran have decided to move forward with a path towards resolution of this issue.”
The minister said, however, that the US Treasury’s move does not violate the November 24 agreement reached between Iran and world powers in Geneva.
“If the US Congress adopts new sanctions- or the US administration, through executive order, decides to impose new sanctions, it would run counter to the letter of the Geneva agreement and that would mean that we don’t have a deal, because the deal has been violated,” said Zarif.