Zarif: Onus on Washington to Return to Negotiating Table
EghtesadOnline: Iran is for dialogue but the US offer to negotiate contradicts its actions, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said, adding that Washington should speak with the Iranian nation in the language of "respect" to get the right response.
"The onus is on the United States. We never left the negotiating table. We are holding meetings with the remaining members of the [Iran] nuclear deal. It is the United States which decided to leave the negotiating table," ISNA on Wednesday quoted him as saying.
"It is the Americans who should revise their behavior and correct their mistakes," the chief diplomat told reporters in New York before attending a UN General Assembly meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.
The Islamic Republic has rejected US attempts to hold high-level talks since US President Donald Trump tore up a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers last year and restored wide-ranging sanctions on the Iranian economy, Financial Tribune reported.
Disrespect for International Law
Zarif said Washington acted in bad faith by withdrawing from the nuclear accord.
"The United States has failed to show that it is a reliable negotiating partner. Rather, it has made it clear that it has no respect for international law and even their own agreements and decisions," he said.
He added that the Iranian nation has time and again proven that they will not surrender to pressure.
"They should be talked to respectfully. If the United States tries to use this language and stop wishful thinking, their policies may not fail," he said.
The foreign minister also criticized the Trump administration's demand that the remaining signatories get on America's side and abandon the nuclear agreement, which is enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
"[The US] is calling on other countries to violate a Security Council resolution and is even threatening them with punishment for compliance with this resolution," he said.
On Washington's recent decision to not renew exemptions granted last year to buyers of Iranian oil, Zarif said the United States is not the global policeman.
"We do not care about waivers or end of waivers, but the rest of the world should decide whether they would want to allow another country to tell them that they have no right to abide by a Security Council resolution or not," he said.
The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran's oil revenues, which sent crude prices to six-month highs on fears of a potential supply crunch, according to Reuters.
Eight economies, including China and India, were granted waivers for six months, and several had expected those exemptions to be renewed.
The minister said Iran has long made up its mind that it wants to resist "US unilateralism" and it is now the turn of other governments to choose whether or not to refuse Washington's excessive demands.