Iran's Zarif rules out new negotiations with US

Iranian Foreign Minister says there's no point in fresh nuclear talks with the US without guarantees it will not renege on any deal made.

Elad Benari,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday his country sees no point in fresh nuclear talks with the US without guarantees it will not renege on any deal made.

Without guarantees, the US could not be trusted for any further talks, said Zarif, according to AFP.

"If we are to make an agreement with the United States, what is the guarantee that the agreement will last after the flight? You remember Canada?" he said, referring to Trump's withdrawal of his signature from a G7 summit closing statement in June after his plane left host Canada.

"How are we to be confident that the signature stays on the paper?" Zarif was quoted as having told the MED Dialogues conference in Rome.

US President Donald Trump withdrew in May from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which he has said is “the worst deal ever negotiated”.

The US has since imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect two weeks ago.

"We spent two-and-a-half years, this is not a two-page document, this is not a picture opportunity. This is a 150-page document," Zarif said of the deal, suggesting that Trump's objection was based on his "hatred" for former president Barack Obama.

"Why should we resume another talk just because somebody doesn't like it, just because somebody hates his predecessor? That's not the reason you engage in diplomacy, diplomacy is a serious game and we are ready for a serious game," he said, according to AFP.

After withdrawing from the deal, Trump indicated he would be open for talks on a new agreement without preconditions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The Iranian leader has dismissed Washington's call for new nuclear negotiations at the same time as it reimposes sanctions on his country and has accused the Trump administration of being the most hostile towards Iran in the last four decades.

The remaining five signatories to the JCPOA -- Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- have backed an EU effort to set up a special payment system in an attempt to continue trade and business ties with Iran.