Amid high tensions between Washington and Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that the latest round of US sanctions against the Islamic republic show the “maximum failure” of Washington’s anti-Iran policy. US extended its sanctions on Iran on Thursday by targeting its construction sector, which the US linked to the country’s Revolutionary Guards. Iran has been locked in a standoff with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies since US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal that gave it relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
In a tweet Zarif wrote, “Subjecting construction workers to #EconomicTerrorism only manifests maximum failure of ‘maximum pressure (sic).”
“Rather than dig itself deeper, US should abandon failed policies & return to #JCPOA,” Zarif added, referring to the formal title of the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Earlier, Trump while addressing the UNGA had already ruled out any possibility of easing economic pressure on Iran. Tensions between Iran and US ratcheted up after the Trump administration announced that it would unilaterally force all countries to stop buying Iran’s oil, which is its major export.
In New York, Rouhani urged the United States to cease its “policy of maximum pressure” on his nation, saying it was driving the possibility of negotiations even further away.
Rouhani blamed Trump for the failure of French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to initiate a historic phone call between them last week at the United Nations. The Islamic republic is prepared “to hold fruitful negotiations”, he told the Iranian cabinet, referring to two days of diplomatic efforts by Macron.
“From my point of view, the path (to dialogue) remains clear,”, he said in a speech carried on state television, thanking the French leader.