Nov 3, 2020, 9:11 AM
Journalist ID: 1843
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Zarif: Not present campaign but what new US administration does in office counts

Tehran, Nov 3, IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said not what the new US administration says during the campaign but what it does in office counts for Iran.

He made the remark in an exclusive interview with the CBS News channel published on Monday night.

During the interview, the Foreign Minister stated that "Iran's government has no preference between President Donald Trump or Biden."

Zarif said that "the statements by the Biden camp have been more promising, but we will have to wait and see."  

"What is important for us is how the White House behaves after the election, not what promises are there, what slogans are made. The behavior of the U.S. is important. If the U.S. decides to stop its malign behavior against Iran, then it will be a different story no matter who sits in the White House," he noted.

Turning to the US decision to leave Iran's nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action under President Donald Trump, he stressed that Iran has no plan to renegotiate the terms of the document: "If we wanted to do that [renegotiate], we would have done it with President Trump four years ago."

He said "under no circumstances" would Tehran consider renegotiating the terms of a deal which has since been adopted as a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

However, during his interview, Zarif added: "We can find a way to reengage, obviously. But reengagement does not mean renegotiation …It means the U.S. coming back to the negotiating table." 

Commenting on the US economic sanctions against the Iranian nation, Zarif told the American news outlet that the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign had failed.  

"It has hurt Iran. But it hasn't brought the type of political change that the U.S. desired — be it regime change, which was the desire of a certain segment of the current U.S. administration, or what President Trump wanted, which was to bring Iran to its knees so that he could dictate his terms of negotiations," he stressed.

"I know that Vice President Biden understands that that won't happen [renegotiate the terms of the nuclear deal], and may act differently," said the Iranian foreign minister. He expressed hope, however, that Mr. Trump, too, "is capable of acting differently."

Elsewhere in the interview, Zarif dismissed allegations from U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran has been trying to influence the process of presidential elections in the United States by allegedly obtaining U.S. voter registration information and using it to try to erode confidence in the American election process.

The Iranian Foreign Minister dismissed such allegations and said "President Trump is the single person who is making the most important and effective affront against the U.S. electoral system."

"Anyone interested in undermining U.S. democracy will just ask President Trump to continue talking about forgeries and inconsistencies in mail-in ballots and all sorts of other stuff," Zarif added.

The CBS News website quoted Zarif as saying that the Iranian government received a letter from the Trump administration, which the White House has yet to confirm, warning the country not to take action around the election, and that the U.S. would not tolerate any interference.

On election night, Zarif will be on a plane heading for official visits in Latin America, watching with huge interest, and some trepidation, as American democracy shapes the next phase of his country's relations with the U.S. 


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