Failure to clinch a deal will amount to loss of an opportunity

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Iran’s foreign minister has said what the sanctions did was to create an atmosphere among the Iranians that the US doesn’t want to treat them well and the US is trying to put pressure on them.

The Iranian foreign minister says a breakdown in nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 will not amount to a catastrophe, but it will see the two sides miss out on a real chance [for solving the nuclear dispute].

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comment in an interview with CBS’s Charlie Rose, adding two years ago nobody thought we could reach the point we are standing at now, and this happens when dialogue is favored over pressure and intimidation.

The Islamic Republic News Agency published a translated version of the foreign minister’s interview. The following is a partial translation of what he told CBS:

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This [sitting down for talks with Iran] is a unique opportunity, with the reason being: the Iranian people went to the polls about one and a half years ago and elected a president who was seeking interaction, dialogue and mutual respect, said Zarif.

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He went on to say that the Iranians are logical people who are sensitive to threats and intimidation, adding they show strong reaction when they are put under pressure. […]

The Iranian people have not been happy with such strong reactions. When they saw their representatives treated respectfully during this interaction [nuclear talks], they became delighted, the top diplomat said, adding if they see the [nuclear] agreement does not earn them respect and dignity, they will defy it. They prefer to reel under pressure than accept a bad deal.

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He also said, “[…] If sanctions were designed to hurt the Iranian people … What the sanctions did was to create an atmosphere among the Iranian population that the United States doesn’t want to treat them well, and the United States is trying to put pressure on them, and the United States is trying to prevent them from buying medicine even with their own money from abroad. […]”.

They [Iranians] have come to this conclusion that US claims that it respects the Iranian people are baseless […], he said.

Putting pressure on the Iranian people does not indicate that sanctions have worked, Zarif said, adding if sanctions intended to fuel hatred of the US [in Iran], we can say that the US has successfully reached its goal.

Ten years ago we could have achieved the results that we have obtained today, but they [the US] refused to accept it. If the deal had been stricken ten years ago, the doors would have opened for us to do many things. The Bush administration and his envoy to the UN, John Bolton, decided to throw a wrench into the works when Iran was close to clinch a deal with European countries and now they regret their decision, the Iranian top diplomat said.

The Iranian foreign minister stressed that dialogue, not sanctions, will produce results.

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