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Zarif: US can blame itself for leaving deal and halting talks

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US should blame itself for ending talks with Iran when it left the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.)

“Iran & US had 2 yrs of talks. With EU/E3+Russia+China, we produced a unique multilateral accord—the JCPOA. It’s been working. US can only blame itself for pulling out & leaving the table. Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won’t work. Try respect: for Iranians & for int’l commitments,” said Zarif on Twitter on Tuesday.

The remarks were made one day after US President Donald Trump announced that was willing to meet with Iranians without preconditions.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi also responded to Trump’s offer by noting that it was in contradiction his actions of imposing sanctions and pressuring other countries into avoiding business with Tehran.

“Sanctions and pressures are the exact opposite of dialogue which requires mutual respect and commitment to international treaties,” he added.

“How can he prove to the Iranian nation that the comments he made last night showed his true intention for negotiation and were not expressed for populist gains?,”  added Qasemi.

On Monday night, Trump said he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, “any time they want to.”

“It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” said the US president.

Shortly after that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on CNBC hours later to set some conditions.

“We’ve said this before,” said the former CIA chief. “If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter into a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he’s prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them.”

Back in May, Pompeo had set 12 conditions for talks with Iran, which were dismissed by Tehran.

Trump’s latest stance towards Tehran runs counter to his recent threats against the nation as well as pulling Washington out of the Iran nuclear deal despite having the support of almost all US allies.

On May 8, Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from the JCPOA despite objections from Europe as well as Russia and China — the other signatories to the deal.

The withdrawal entails the re-imposition of not only sanctions on Iran but also the so-called secondary sanctions on third countries.

Meanwhile, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has once again denounced the US withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear deal, saying the ball is now in Europe’s court to make up for Washington’s absence and work to keep the landmark agreement alive.

“Today, we are at a very important historic moment regarding the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, adding that European parties need to transparently declare what measures they intend to adopt in order to make up for Washington’s “illegal” pullout from the Iran deal.


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