Zarif discusses with some American congressmen over the phone

ISNA – Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that he discussed with some members of US’ Congress over the phone during his visit to New York.

Zarif told reporters as he was preparing to leave New York for Tehran, “I hold talks with different American groups during my visits but this time I decided to shorten my trip. I discussed with some members of US’ Congress over the phone. They called me and as I shortened my trip it was not possible to coordinate the time for them to come to New York for a meeting”.

“We have no demands from the members of US’ Congress. We don’t interfere with the U.S. election and the meetings we have had so far, have been held at the request of the other side. We use these meetings to show the real image of Iran not to raise demands,” he stressed.

About the fate of INSTEX, the Iranian top diplomat said, “The fate of INSTEX depends on Europeans. They should realize that they can’t get permission from the Americans for anything”.

About reports related to Rouhani-Trump meeting, Zarif said that Trump was merely trying to hold a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the latter’s stay in New York this week, adding that the US president was unwilling to accept that sanctions imposed by his government on Tehran should be lifted as a main precondition for talks with Iran.

He noted, however, that a direct meeting between Trump and Rouhani had never been on agenda and Iran basically wanted a meeting between heads of states signatory to a 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear activity which has suffered since Trump’s administration withdrew from the deal in May 2018.

“Trump did not say that lifting of sanctions would be done after the meeting, but he was more inclined to have the meeting done and said there is also the possibility that sanctions would be lifted after the meeting,” Zarif said.

He added, “Iran would never commit to a demonstrative meeting with a president that has not observed his obligations. We won’t put economy and future of Iranian people at stake of a demonstrative meeting with Trump”.