Press TV – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States sanctions against Iran will have no political effect on the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with the Doha-based Al Jazeera broadcaster aired on Saturday, Zarif said that the unilateral sanctions not only had no legal implications but also no political ones for Iran, contrary to what US officials had intended.
“They (the American officials) want to put pressure on the Iranian people in order to change their policy. That is the way the United States has acted for 40 years and, particularly since President [Donald] Trump came to office,” he said, stressing, however, that the bans “won’t have any political effect.”
Zarif also said Iran and its partners had developed various schemes to protect themselves against the sanctions.
“One of them (the schemes) will be — in the long run — to the detriment of the United States and I think that is becoming increasingly popular and that is not to use dollars for your transactions,” he said.
“Second is an instrument that we are developing with the Europeans… we have already developed with our neighbors and… the Chinese, and that is not to engage in transfer of money across the borders, which is where the United States would step in and will try to twist the arms of people who are engaged in it, illegally and unlawfully,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Under President Donald Trump, the US has initiated a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran, pulling out of a multilateral deal with the country and re-imposing sanctions against it.
Zarif said the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal — which was negotiated by former US president Barack Obama — was in contravention of international norms.
“In international relations, you consider a government [the] continuation of the previous government. Last I heard, there was no revolution in the United States,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Zarif said the Trump administration was serving Israeli interests.
“I believe the United States is not serving US interests. More than the United States, it is serving Israeli interests. And unfortunately, there are a couple of people in our region who have aligned themselves with Israeli interests,” he said, naming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Zarif said those figures were dragging Trump into “disastrous situations.”
“So this is a cabal… who are pushing the United States and President Trump into conflict and into disastrous situations and they will be the first to suffer the consequences, unfortunately,” he said.
Zarif has said formerly that a group of hawkish figures, comprising US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, bin Salman, and bin Zayed, are intent on pushing the US into a war with Iran. He has called those individuals — all of whom have the letter “b” in their names — the “B-team.”