Zarif: US sanctions are 'unacceptable'

Iran's Foreign Minister says his country is exercising "maximum restraint" despite US withdrawal from 2015 nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran remains committed to its obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal despite the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement last year, its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said late on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Speaking at a meeting in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, Zarif described the US escalation of sanctions as “unacceptable”.

“We exercise maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) last May,” he said, according to Reuters.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal last May and has since then imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Last week, Zarif announced that that Iran will reduce some “voluntary” commitments within its nuclear deal with world powers but will not withdraw from it.

Following Zarif’s announcement, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors.

Iran then struck a softer tone regarding the 2015 nuclear deal, with the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran saying the Islamic Republic wants to bring the deal “back on track”.

Hours before Zarif’s comments, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami vowed to inflict the "bitter taste of defeat" on the United States in its "economic war" on the Islamic Republic.

"The proud nation of Islamic Iran will once again... pass this sensitive period of time with its head held high, and force the bitter taste of defeat onto the American-Zionist alliance," Hatami told Revolutionary Guards veterans in Tehran, according to AFP.