EghtesadOnline: Iran will not be meeting with the administration of US President Donald Trump unless Washington stops its "economic terrorism" against the Iranian people, Iran's foreign minister said.
"The United States is engaged in economic war against the Iranian people. It won't be possible for us to engage with US unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism," Mohammad Javad Zarif also told reporters on Thursday after speaking at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Aljazeera reported.
"If they want to come back to the room, there is a ticket, and that ticket is to observe the agreement," he said, referring to the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and world powers.
According to Financial Tribune, Zarif said Iran does not want to "meet for the sake of meeting".
"The basic principle of civilized world is that you do not negotiate with terrorists. If they want to negotiate, they have to abandon terrorism," he said.
Earlier at the forum, Zarif alluded to Trump as a person who believes building real estate will solve problems.
"I don't want to bash anybody, but the mentality that wants to buy Greenland looks at every international development in terms of real estate ... believes that by building real estate property, you solve the problem," Zarif said.
Hope for Breakthrough
There were hopes on Monday that Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, could break their political impasse following a surprise diplomatic maneuver by French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.
Macron invited Zarif to meet on the sidelines of the summit, in an effort to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Rouhani.
Speaking at a news conference at the end of the summit, Macron said "a summit between President Rouhani and President Trump" was possible within weeks. France has taken on the role of mediator in hopes of saving the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump unilaterally abandoned in 2018.
Under the deal, Iran had agreed to significantly curb its enrichment of uranium. In exchange, Tehran would be allowed to openly sell its oil in the world market.
Since Trump abandoned the deal, US sanctions have been reimposed against Iran.
Rouhani had hinted on Monday that he was willing to meet Trump but said the first step to that meeting is for the US to "retreat from sanctions".
"Without taking this step, the deadlock will not be unlocked," he said.
Iran's chief diplomat made no comments in Kuala Lumpur about his Biarritz meeting with Macron.
Looming Threat of IS
At the security forum on Thursday, Zarif also warned that the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group remains a threat even after losing its territories.
"IS became a non-state actor with important role in international affairs and that is why it was important to defeat IS and that is why Iran participated actively … in Syria and Iraq," Zarif said.
"We are happy that IS has been defeated territorially, but IS has not been defeated [completely] and we need to be very concerned and cognitive of this fact and continue to be united in the face of this threat.”
At least 65 Malaysians have been detained in Syria for joining IS, 39 of whom have expressed a wish to return home.
Malaysia has detained 519 "terror suspects" as of July 31, according to official figures.