Iran calls on US to stop its addiction to sanctions
TEHRAN, Sept 5, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Iran urged the United States Saturday to
stop its addiction to sanctions against the Islamic republic and accused
President Joe Biden of following the same "dead end" policies as Donald
Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh made his remarks a day after
the US Treasury announced financial sanctions against four Iranians accused
of planning the kidnapping in the US of an American journalist of Iranian
"Washington must understand that it has no other choice but to abandon its
addiction to sanctions and show respect, both in its statements and in its
behaviour, towards Iran," Khatibzadeh said in a press release.
Under Trump's presidency, Washington unilaterally withdrew from the 2015
nuclear agreement between Tehran and six major powers.
The multilateral deal offered Iran relief from sanctions in return for
curbs on its nuclear programme.
It was torpedoed by Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from it
President Ebrahim Raisi, in his first TV interview since taking office
last month, said on Saturday that trying to revive the deal "is on the
government's agenda, but not under pressure" from the West.
"Several times the Americans and Europeans have tried to exert pressure to
engage in dialogue, but in vain," Raisi said in the interview broadcast on
state television. Biden has said he wants to reintegrate Washington into the
pact, but talks in Vienna that began in April have stalled since the ultra-
conservative Raisi won Iran's presidential election in June.
At the end of August, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused
Biden's administration of making the same demands as his predecessor in talks
to revive the accord.
And on Tuesday, Iran's new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
suggested that the Vienna talks would not resume for two or three months.
Raisi said Saturday that "talks are on the agenda, but not talks for the
sake of talks, or negotiations for the sake of negotiations".
"In these talks, we seek to obtain the lifting of oppressive sanctions,"
he added. "We will not give in on the interests of the great Iranian nation."
Tehran is demanding all sanctions imposed or reimposed on it by the US
since 2017 be lifted.
On Friday, the US Treasury announced sanctions against "four Iranian
intelligence operatives" it said were involved in a campaign against Iranian
According to a US federal indictment in mid-July, the intelligence
officers tried in 2018 to force American-Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad's
Iran-based relatives to lure her to a third country to be arrested and taken
to Iran to be jailed.
When that failed, they allegedly hired US private investigators to monitor
her over the past two years.
Khatibzadeh in July called the American charges "baseless and absurd",
referring to them as "Hollywood scenarios".