Alwaght- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rules out any prospect of negotiation with the US, calling the Washington regime a “bully” trying to force all others into acting illegally.
Zarif made the remarks in an address to the Japanese media on Thursday during a visit to the country.
"No, there is no possibility for negotiations," Zarif said, when asked about whether he would be open to holding bilateral talks aimed at easing tensions between Tehran and Washington.
"This is the first time in history that a bully is telling everybody else, important countries, that 'I'm going to punish you if you observe something that I do not like," he stated.
"Let us assume that a bully is standing in a cross section on the street and telling everybody, 'If you don't pass the red light, I'm going to beat you.' This is exactly what the US is telling them," he exemplified.
The US has been deploying a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran under President Donald Trump.
Employing the policy, Washington left a multilateral nuclear deal, reached between Iran and the six major powers -- the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany, last year.
It then reinstated the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord, and began threatening the countries not abiding by the bans with “secondary sanctions.”
"This is economic terrorism, pure and simple," Zarif asserted.
Zarif also criticized the European sides to the agreement for not fully fulfilling their commitments and Japan for going along with the US sanctions despite publicly supporting the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"I have to stress that it is important for all other members of the JCPOA to take serious account of their continued failure, because Europe unfortunately, while supporting [the] JCPOA verbally, has not been able to take any action. Unfortunately, our Japanese partners also have not taken action to implement [the] JCPOA," he said.
Additionally, on Thursday, Zarif held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
At the meeting, Abe expressed Tokyo’s willingness to maintain and develop its traditionally friendly ties with Tehran.
“I’m concerned that the situation in the Middle East is becoming very tense,” the Japanese premier said.
Speaking at an earlier meeting with with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in Tokyo on Thursday, Zarif stressed that the Islamic Republic is exercising “maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from (the) JCPOA last May,” referring to the nuclear accord by the acronym of its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The top diplomat also noted that Iran is still committed to its obligations under the JCPOA and that continued assessments proved this fact.
“We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for,” Zarif added.
Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the US has taken an increasingly hostile approach toward Iran.
Washington pulled out of the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions it had lifted under the nuclear deal as part of a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic Republic.
Recently, it moved to force Iran’s oil exports to “zero” and sent military reinforcements, including a strike group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, to the Middle East in a bid to step up pressure on Tehran.