Iran will never talk to anybody who sets conditions for it: FM Zarif

Press TV – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has strongly dismissed the possibility of holding negotiations with the United States after Washington set conditions for talks with Tehran, saying the Islamic Republic will never talk to those who set conditions for it.

In a post on his official Twitter account on Monday, Zarif released a video showing him seated with US journalist Robin Wright on the sidelines of the Doha Forum 2018 in the Qatari capital on Saturday.

In response to a question about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s list of a dozen conditions, which Washington expects Tehran to meet before any further talks, Zarif said, “We will not talk to anybody who sets 12 conditions for us to talk to them after having violated a [UN] Security Council resolution that they sponsored themselves.”

In an apparent reference to the lawless conduct of the administration of US President Donald Trump in the field of international relations and its disrespect for international agreements and treaties, the Iranian foreign minister emphasized that it is the leaders of the United States who must meet conditions before they talk to any other country.

“I am not asking them [US leaders] to be lawful, because that’s asking them for the impossible, [but I ask them] at least [to] become less lawless,” he pointed out.

Speaking weeks after the United States in May pulled out of the historic nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and major powers in 2015, Pompeo laid out 12 tough conditions for any “new deal” with Tehran.

The conditions included withdrawal of Iran’s military advisors from Syria, who have been helping the country’s legitimate government in its fight against terrorist outfits, which have been mostly aided and abetted by the US and its Western and regional allies.

In a meeting with a number of Iranian lawmakers late in May, Zarif said the new strategies declared by the US secretary of state will lead to Washington’s greater isolation among the international community.

“In my opinion, the new US strategies against Iran, which were announced by the country’s secretary of state, will bring down more isolation on the US,” Zarif said.

Under the deal, reached between Iran and six major powers — the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — Tehran agreed to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions.

In November, the Trump administration announced the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country’s oil sales and crucial exports.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran’s access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.

In his address to the Doha Forum 2018 on Saturday, Zarif said economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran will fail to have any impact on the policies of the Islamic Republic at home or abroad.

“It’s obviously the case that we are facing economic pressure because of the US sanctions. [The] US is a major global power and it can actually create painful conditions for other countries. But would that lead to a change of policy? I can assure you that it won’t,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

Elsewhere in his Monday tweet, the Iranian foreign minister vehemently dismissed claims about Tehran’s intervention in the Middle East and said it is the US that is intervening in the region.

“It is our region and anywhere we have troops or military advisors, it’s on the invitation of the governments. Can the United States make the same claim?”

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said in October that the Islamic Republic will keep its military advisory presence in Syria as long as Tehran finds it “effective and useful” and as long as the Arab country’s government demands it.

In an exclusive interview with Press TV, IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif said the Islamic Republic has been supporting Syria in accordance with international regulations since the beginning of the crisis in the country.

Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria and Iraq at the request of the two Arab countries’ governments, enabling them to speed up their gains on various fronts against terror outfits.