Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif: If US wants to talk, it must stop ‘economic war’ 

No meetings with the U.S. until it stops waging “economic war” against Iran, Zarif said.

By World Israel News Staff

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the country’s supreme leader will not meet President Donald Trump unless Washington halts its “economic terrorism” that has hurt ordinary Iranians. He made his comments Thursday in Kuala Lumpur.

“The United States is engaged in an economic war against the Iranian people, and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” Zarif said at a forum on security in the Islamic world.

Zarif says the removal of U.S. sanctions could also help salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, which the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from last year.

“So if they want to come back into the room there is a ticket that they need to purchase and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” he said of the nuclear deal.

He says Tehran has the right to reduce its compliance under the nuclear pact after the U.S. left but it can easily “revert back to full implementation” if the U.S. fulfills its commitment and returns to the table.

He told the forum, “you do not negotiate with terrorists. If they want to negotiate, they have to abandon terrorism,” in reference to the rollback of sanctions.

On Monday, Trump signaled his willingness to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the G-7 meeting in France. Rouhani rejected the suggestion the next day, saying that first sanctions must be lifted.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran when it exited the 2015 nuclear accord in May 2018. Trump criticized the deal as being ineffective in its goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

AP contributed to this report.