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  • Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018.

    Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh arrives for an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 June 2019

His statement came after the U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions Friday against Iran's largest and most profitable petrochemicals group PGPIC.

Iran said Saturday that new U.S. sanctions on its petrochemical industry show the hollowness of President Donald Trump's claims to be open to fresh negotiations with Tehran.

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"Only one week was needed for the U.S. president's claim that he was ready to negotiate with Iran to be proven hollow," foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

Trump said Thursday he would be willing to reopen talks as long as Iran agreed to give up nuclear weapons. But Tehran ruled out talks until the United States is ready to "return to normal."

Mousavi called the new sanctions another instance of "economic terrorism" and a continuation of U.S. "enmity" against Iran.

"America's maximum pressure policy is a failed policy tried numerous times before by the country's previous presidents. This a wrong path and the U.S. government can be sure that it will not achieve any of the goals set for this policy," Mousavi added.

Washington began reimposing unilateral sanctions on Iran after Trump abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May last year.

It reimposed a first set of sanctions in August followed by a second in November.

On April 8, it designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard a "foreign terrorist organization," paving the way for sanctions against their sources of funding, which Iran is challenging in court for being illegal.

The PGPIC group holds 40 percent of Iran's petrochemical production capacity and is responsible for 50 percent of its petrochemical exports, Treasury said.

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