Jul 6, 2020, 11:10 PM
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Zarif: Next US administration must be accountable for damages caused to Iran

Tehran, July 6, IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a virtual meeting of the Mediterranean Dialogue (MED 2020) on Monday that regardless of who wins the next US election, the future government of Washington will be responsible for the actions of its predecessor that were harmful to the Iranian nation.

"Anyone who will become the next US president should work for compensating the losses that has been imposed by the US on Iran," Zarif said addressing MED 2020 video conference.

It doesn't matter who wins the upcoming election in the US, what is important is that Washington should change its behavior toward Iran, he said.

Anyone taking office in the US must take steps to compensate for the harm they inflicted on Iran, Zarif reiterated.

Referring to the US economic terrorism against the Iranian nation, Zarif said those who claim that they had not imposed sanctions on Iran in the field of pharmaceuticals should be aware that Iran is unable to access international banking operations, and therefore it is not possible for it to buy medicine.

Reiterating that diplomacy is the most effective instrument for resolving all global issues, Zarif said JCPOA was a great achievement in the field of diplomacy, which was gained through hard work and marathon negotiations.

Iran has committed all its part under the deal, he said, noting that Iran signed the deal with open eyes and that's why it has used dispute resolution mechanism appropriately.

Iran's move towards a dispute resolution mechanism is not against JCPOA, and at the same time it closely corresponds to the provisions of the international deal, he said.

After a lapse of five years since signing the nuclear deal, Iran has not achieved economic benefits from it due to obstructionism of certain parties and Europeans' noncompliance with it, Zarif complained.

It is the Europeans who have not fulfilled their commitments under the JCPOA, he said, adding that if they return to their commitments, Iran is ready to resume all its obligations.

Commenting on Iran's efforts to prevent extension of Iran's arms embargo, Zarif said that as per the JCPOA, the five-year deadline for ending Iran's arms embargo has been set and agreed and this is an absolute agreement and no one can change it.

Describing high sales of US military weapons and equipment to various countries as one of the factors exacerbating instability and unrest in the world, the Iranian foreign minister said that the only weapon the US sells to Saudi Arabia each year is three times that of Iran's total military and defense budget.

Asked about some Europeans' belief that lifting arms embargoes against Iran could increase instability in the region, Zarif said that it is not at all the case the European Union has the option to lift the sanctions, but rather the embargos would be automatically go away as per the JCPOA.

Turning to Astana talks on situation in Syria, Zarif expressed happiness over its positive results for Syria and urged all countries to help improve situation in the country so that the homeless Syrians could go back home.

Stressing that ultimately, it is the Syrian nation which should decide its own destination, he said that the only thing all foreign actors in Syrian have to do is to facilitate improvement of situation rather than imposing their own wishes on the nation.

He also said Iran believed holding referendum was the proper way to end decades-long plight of the oppressed Palestinian nation to establish democracy in their homeland.

"Mediterranean Dialogues is the annual high-level initiative promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies) in Rome with the aim to rethink traditional approaches to the area complementing analyses of current challenges with new ideas and suggestions and to draft a new "positive agenda",  addressing shared challenges at both the regional and the international levels.

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