Trump Administration Set Fire to Negotiating Room: Iran’s Zarif

Trump Administration Set Fire to Negotiating Room
An image of US President Donald Trump which appeared on the cover of German magazine Spiegel published on June 6, 2020

Iran’s foreign minister says US President Donald Trump has set fire to the negotiating room and is now committing economic terrorism against the Iranian nation.

In an interview with the Iranian daily Kar Va Kargar, Mohammad Javad Zarif has weighed in on a whole range of issues. The highlights of Zarif’s comments follow.

 

US Withdrawal from JCPOA

The JCPOA (the abbreviation which refers to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) was signed in a climate of mistrust. The reason why the JCPOA has numerous provisions with various details and why general statements are completely avoided is the existence of this very mistrust between the two sides. … Over the past three and a half years, there has been no important international agreement that Mr. Trump has not withdrawn from, without any good reason and logic, including his pullout from the Paris Climate Agreement, UNESCO, NAFTA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the JCPOA.

Even after the recent global scandal of the US failure to take the JCPOA to the UN Security Council, some believed Trump would withdraw from the UN and the Security Council, too.

We drew up mechanisms for the settlement of differences … so precisely that no one, namely the US and Mr. Trump, would not be able to withdraw from the deal without suffering harrowing global problems.

US Losing Economic Benefits of JCPOA

We set two conditions in the JCPOA for US companies’ trade with Iran: First, selling Boeing aircraft to Iran, and Boeing’s taking orders from Iran for 88 airplanes; second, involvement in trade deals with Iran by non-American firms which were authorized agents of US companies in Iran.

After the delivery of those 88 aircraft, we were preparing orders for another 200 airplanes, but who prevented this major trade deal? Can the Americans present one single document that suggests it was Iran that prevented it? Trump revoked the trade deal by withdrawing from the JCPOA and reimposing sanctions on Iran with regards to the sale and purchase of airplanes, making many Boeing staff lose their jobs.

Mr. Trump betrayed not only the benefits of the JCPOA, but, above all, the interests of American people.

Trump: A Liar

Trump lies [when he says he is committed to safeguarding the interests of American people]. … What is important to him is his personal interests. Today, all American people have come to realize that except for his own interests, Mr. Trump does not care at all for their interests and even for the interests of the Republican Party. Moreover, a group of people are surrounding him that only think of preserving Israel’s interests. The most renowned analysts in the US says when Trump says “Let’s make American great again!” he means “Let’s make Donald Trump great again!”

US Economic Terrorism against Iran

Mr. Trump’s [economic] pressure is definitely a reality. Sanctions are definitely a tangible objective phenomenon. I, for one, not only admit that the current situation is a [economic] war, but I would say that it is something beyond that and amounts to US economic terrorism against the Iranian nation. … The question is, who started this war? Did we start it or Mr. Trump? Was it Iran that set fire to the negotiating room or the US? We still have not left the negotiating table. … When Mr. Trump threatens to wage a war or to increase sanctions and, at the same time, calls for talks, it is logical that no one in the whole world would accept that. Trump withdrew from the JCPOA because John Bolton had promised him to topple the Islamic Republic in three months’ time. They made every effort, but failed [to achieve their goals}, so they are lying when they say they seek negotiations. … We should not forget that the one who rudely left the negotiating room was Trump. So, Iran always remains in the negotiating room, and if the US creates the conditions for returning to the negotiating room that it has left, we and the other five signatories to the JCPOA will be in the room.

 

I Have Expressed My Views Frankly, Bravely

As Iran’s foreign minister, I have two main duties: First, to implement policies adopted in the country in the foreign policy domain, and second, to monitor international developments, especially the part which is somehow related to Iran. Then, I am to analyze that information to be presented to the government or, as you put it, to be presented to the Supreme National Security Council. At the end of the day, every one should implement the policy that is adopted, for the sake of the Iranian nations’ interests. As for the first duty, I am responsible for implementing policies, whether or not I agree with them. …, As for the second responsibility, in which I should present analyses, … I have [always] expressed my views straightforwardly and bravely. … Yes, I had already given the necessary warnings about possible domestic chaos and the behavior of some institutions that could lead to those incidents.

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