Iran says the United States has a sanction “disease” adding that Tehran signing the nuclear agreement may have been a grave mistake, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN citing Washington backing out of the deal.
“Even during the Obama Administration the United States put more emphasis on keeping the sanctions that it had not lifted rather than implementing its obligations on the sanctions that it lifted,” Zarif said.
U.S. economic sanctions that were previously suspended under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement are now taking effect.
Zarif further explained that though inking the agreement “may have been one of the mistakes. But the problem was that we felt that the United States had learned that, at least as far as Iran is concerned, sanctions do produce economic hardship, but do not produce the political outcomes that they intended them to produce. I thought the Americans had learned that lesson. Unfortunately, I was wrong.”
The foreign minister quipped that the United States was "addicted to sanctions." Washington has reimposed the sanctions citing “threatening, destabilizing behavior" from Iran.
Additionally, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced the establishment of an Iran Action Group to counter the Iranian Government's “malign activity.” Zarif tweeted that the “Action Group” only aims to disrupt Iran's sovereignty through "pressure, misinformation & demagoguery."
European governments had pledged to maintain oil and banking ties with Iran after the second phase of U.S. sanctions in November, but Zarif said Europe was not truly prepared to “pay the price” for defying the United States to maintain the terms of the nuclear deal.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal in May and began reimposing sanctions that attempt to block other countries from trading with Iran. The Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri countered that Iran is looking for solutions to continue the sale of crude oil and get money back to the country.