Zarif blasts US sanctions

Iranian Foreign Minister takes to YouTube to dismiss US sanctions, urges Washington to address the regional crises it has created.

Elad Benari,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif took to YouTube on Tuesday, posting a message in both English and Persian in which he dismissed the new US sanctions against his country.

“The US administration appears to believe that imposing draconian sanctions on Iran will bring about such pain to our nation that it will force us to submit to its will, no matter how absurd, unlawful or fundamentally flawed its demands are,” Zarif said.

“We have weathered difficult times in the face of 40 years of American hostility relying solely on our own resources, and today we and our partners across the globe will ensure that our people are least affected by this indiscriminate assault in the economic warfare that directly targets the Iranian people,” he added.

“The US is better off addressing the catastrophes and crises it has engineered in our region,” continued Zarif, who claimed, among other things, that the US created the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization to fight the Soviets.

“Or is it the longstanding and unconditional support for two clients – Saudi Arabia and Israel – blinds the US to their appalling atrocities that have resulted in global indignation and engendered insecurity to us all, the US itself included?” he charged.

“President (Donald) Trump’s predecessors also began crafting their Iran policy with similar bravado but came around to accepting and respecting the reality of Iran as they became more experienced in office,” said Zarif.

On Monday, the latest US sanctions against Iran came into effect, the second round of sanctions since President Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The second round of sanctions hit oil exports, shipping and banking. Eight temporary waivers to the ban on Iranian oil imports were issued to China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

National security adviser John Bolton made clear that the Trump administration is planning to impose even more sanctions on Iran.

"We’re gonna have sanctions that even go beyond this. We’re not simply going to be content with the level of sanctions that existed under Obama in 2015,” Bolton said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

"More are coming," he pledged, adding, "We are actually going to have very strict, very tight enforcement of the sanctions that exist."

Iran on Monday urged the United Nations to hold the US accountable for reimposing sanctions on Tehran.

Iran’s UN Ambassador, Gholamali Khoshroo, said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the new US sanctions are illegal and in violation of a Security Council resolution.

He wrote that the "irresponsible conduct of the United States necessitates a collective response to uphold the rule of law."