EghtesadOnline: Iran will never bow to foreign pressure, but is always open to diplomatic engagement with other countries, including the United States, if they treat it "respectfully" and "on an equal footing", a senior official said.
"We have kept the door to interaction open. The ball is now in the court of the United States. They should have the courage to admit that it was a mistake to violate the nuclear deal and begin fulfilling their commitments. If they do so, they can engage with Iran within the mechanisms defined in JCPOA like other signatories," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in remarks published by ISNA on Saturday, in response to the latest round of US sanctions.
US President Donald Trump last year pulled out of Tehran's 2015 agreement with world powers, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which assures Iran access to global trade in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
The US administration has since reimposed and sharply tightened sanctions on the Iranian economy. Iran has responded by exceeding some of the limits on the accord and has promised to scale back its nuclear commitments further unless the Europeans keep their promises to salvage the deal, Financial Tribune reported.
In the latest step to turn the heat on the Islamic Republic, Washington on Friday imposed another round of sanctions on the country, including on its central bank and the National Development Fund of Iran, following the September 14 attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia that Riyadh and US officials have blamed on Tehran. Iranian authorities have denied any involvement.
Mousavi downplayed the impact of the US move, saying, "The announced sanctions are nothing new and it was just a restatement of the previous sanctions."
The spokesman noted that the Americans should accept that their policy of sanctions against Iran has failed.
"Since the very beginning of the sanctions, which have been the toughest ones in history, the Islamic Republic has stayed on its chosen path and will continue to make progress through reliance on its domestic capabilities and cooperation with friendly countries," he said.
"I hope US officials would realize that they are no longer the world's only economic superpower, and there are many countries who are willing to work in the Iranian market and use the economic opportunities that emerge out of good ties with Iran."
Mousavi said the US government's "excessive use of sanctions" to advance its foreign policy agenda has undermined its status as an economic partner in the international arena and called on world governments to help cushion the effects of US "hostile" measures against freedom of trade.
The spokesman said Trump's "confused" foreign policy is based on "bullying", "unilateralism" and "economic terrorism", which do not contribute to the peaceful settlement of issues through diplomacy.
"However, we once again reiterate that the Iranian nation is a peace-seeking nation ready to interact with all nations and governments that treat it with respect and on an equal footing," he said.