In an interview with Al-Alam news channel aired on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said “we don’t need a mediator. The US has begun an economic war against our people…this policy needs to stop. When it does, the situation will have a complete changeover.”
Elsewhere, Zarif said the policy of the US administration is a “pretense for talks and readiness for negotiations.”
Asked about when and under what circumstances the Islamic Republic would “contact Trump, or answer his call,” Zarif said “deciding on this matter is up to the country’s highest-ranking authorities.”
Zarif went on to add, however, that “holding negotiations only makes sense when the other side is committed to its obligations.”
“Some think we have a problem with Mr. Trump. This is not the case…even during the Obama administration, the US failed to live up to all of its commitments.”
Zarif also said that the US “will never get a better deal than the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear program.”
Stressing that the US first needs to implement its JCPOA-related commitments before holding negotiations with Iran, Zarif said “we have a proverb in Persian that says, ‘first prove you’re my brother, then ask for inheritance.’ [Americans] need to first come forward and prove their commitment to the agreement…which is not a two-page long, but a 150-page long agreement.”
The 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been in shambles ever since President Donald Trump withdrew US from it last May and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.
In response, Iran announced its decision to suspend some of its obligations under the JCPOA on May 8, one year after the US abrupt withdrawal from the agreement. On the same day, Iran gave nuclear deal signatories -- France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the European Union -- an ultimatum, saying it would step up uranium enrichment in 60 days if they did not shield Tehran from sanctions imposed by the United States.
Iran says that these measures are within the framework of the nuclear deal. A recent report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Friday also reaffirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.