Iran: No negotiations until US stops 'economic terrorism'

Iranian foreign minster says no meeting with President Trump until US lifts sanctions on Islamic Republic.

Gary Willig ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian leaders will not meet with US President Donald Trump until his administration lifts sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Zarif said Thursday.

"The United States is engaged in economic war against the Iranian people. It won't be possible for us to engage with US unless they stop imposing a war, engaging in economic terrorism," Zarif told reporters in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpa.

"If they want to come back to the room, there is a ticket, and that ticket is to observe the agreement," he said, adding that Iran would not "meet for the sake of meeting".

"The basic principle of civilized world is that you do not negotiate with terrorists," said Zarif. "If they want to negotiate, they have to abandon terrorism."

Zarif accused Trump of treating international relations as a real estate deal. "I don't want to bash anybody, but the mentality that wants to buy Greenland looks at every international development in terms of real estate ... believes that by building real estate property, you solve the problem."

Zarif's comments follow signals from President Trump that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani at the G-7 summit earlier this week.

"Iran is not the same country that was two and a half years ago," the US president said. "Iran was the number one terrorist sponsor in the world.When I took office, there were 18 friction centers in the world backed by Iran, at the very least financed by Iran. They used money from the agreement for bad purposes."