Iranian FM condemns U.S. war posture

US hits Iran with new sanctions; petrochemicals targeted

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will visit Iran this week, where he will explore options for preserving the fraying nuclear non-proliferation pact.

He noted that no one can take an action against the Iranian people without receiving a firm response.

TEHRAN: Iran´s foreign minister warned Monday of the consequences of waging "economic war" against the Islamic republic through U.S. sanctions, saying those conducting and supporting it could not expect to "remain safe".

"We have said it clearly that economic war is not different from a (military) war at all".

"If one seeks to talk about instability in this region, those are the other parties who should be held responsible", Zarif said.

Macron said France wanted to make sure Tehran will not get nuclear weapons: "We had an accord until 2025 and we want to go further and have full certainty in the long run".

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano at a press conference during the Board of Governors Meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 10, 2019.

Maas traveled to Iran in a bid to salvage the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Maas acknowledged the economic benefits Tehran hoped for from the deal were now "more hard to obtain".

U.S. President Donald Trump argued that the terms of the agreement were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and did not address the country's ballistic-missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.

Zarif was speaking after talks with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the future of the JCPOA. Diplomats say the system is unlikely to have much impact on commercial trade with Iran but could be used for humanitarian transactions that are permitted under U.S. sanctions.

Iran has deemed the sanctions "economic terrorism", and in May vowed to step up its rate of uranium enrichment if the penalties weren't lifted.

Zarif also said that Iran actually wants implementation of the JCPOA.

Zarif also took aim at the USA and its allies' actions in the Middle East.

Zarif also rejected USA claims that it was destabilizing the region.

"Was it us that gave arms to Saddam Hussein?" Did we back al-Qaeda? Did we imprison the prime minister of Lebanon?

"Is it us who are bombing civilians in Yemen every day?"

Maas acknowledged that the economic benefits Tehran hoped for from the deal were now "more hard to obtain". Mr Maas is also expected to meet with his counterparts from Jordan and the UAE, though he is unlikely to find a cooperative audience given widespread regional opposition to the deal.

"Europeans are certainly in no position to criticise Iran, even about issues that have nothing to do with" the agreement, Zarif said in televised remarks to journalists. A special mechanism called INSTEX was created to enable Iran to import food and medicine.



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