Unilateralism always a major US approach: Iran’s Zarif

Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif decried the Trump administration’s foreign policy and said for American officials, unilateralism is always a major option when it comes to international affairs and international agreements.

Addressing a conference on “multilateralism in foreign policy” in Tehran on Sunday, Zarif said the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was a strategic defeat for the US.

He further said that it was not the first time that Washington followed a unilateral approach.

“Unilateralism has always been among the US options (at the international level),” the top diplomat said, adding that unilateralism has been pursued as a major policy of the US administrations, particularly those of George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

In May 2018, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

The European Union has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.