Mon, 26 Aug 2019

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States is engaging in "economic terrorism" regarding the imposition of sanctions and that it "shot itself in the foot" when it withdrew from the nuclear accord with Iran.

Speaking from the rostrum at the UN on July 17, Zarif said the unilateral sanctions that President Donald Trump put into force "deliberately target innocent civilians to achieve illegitimate political objectives.'

Zarif furthermore told Bloomberg Television that the burden falls on Trump to ease tensions and pushed back on the possibility that the 2015 nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, would be renegotiated.

"You don't buy a horse twice," he told Bloomberg.

After pulling out of the multinational accord in 2018, the United States imposed wide-ranging restrictive measures and have sought to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero, moves that have devasted the Iranian economy.

The 2015 accord provided Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

U.S. allies France, Britain, and Germany -- all parties to the accord -- have attempted to bring Trump back into the deal and have devised a complicated financial barter plan to help alleviate Iran's economic woes.

However, Trump has sought to reduce Shi'ite Iran's regional influence in favor of Sunni-led allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Based on reporting by AFP and Bloomberg

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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