4 August 2020

Russia slams US sanctions against Iran's FM

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Russia on Thursday slammed the U.S. decision to sanction Iran’s foreign minister. reports citing Turkish media.

"The U.S. has only one tool – sanctions,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a news conference.

“This tool does not work. This tool has not approved itself. This tool has discredited both itself and those who apply it," she said.

The U.S. sanctioned Russia 71 times, she said, but "it did not turn the country from an independent course."

“The U.S. corners itself, strips itself of the possibility to use a wide range of diplomatic tools," by using only sanctions, Zakharova said.

She also accused Washington of aggravating the situation in the Strait of Hormuz.

"The U.S. is deliberately inflating the situation, including organizing a pirate seizure of an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar to strengthen the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf under the pretext of ‘ensuring freedom of navigation,’” she said.

“There is a feeling that Washington is looking for a reason to escalate the situation, to continue the aggressive rhetoric against Iran and to move to a more active and hot phase of the conflict," she added.

Washington placed economic sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif for working on behalf of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who U.S. President Donald Trump blacklisted in June.

Zarif quickly responded to the sanction announcement and brushed off any concerns by saying it "has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran".

Tensions have been running high between the U.S. and Iran since Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year. The agreement was an outcome of protracted negotiations between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and the EU.

The U.S. has since launched a diplomatic and economic campaign to force Iran to renegotiate the deal.

2019.08.01 / 23:36
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