Any new U.S. sanctions against Iran would be illegitimate

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© Collage: Voice of Russia

Source: Voice of Russia

Washington will continue to enforce existing sanctions against Iran. That’s according to US Secretary of State John Kerry who met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The statement came after Tehran received the first 500-million-dollar portion of unfrozen funds as the beginning phases of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world nations.

Meanwhile Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned new sanctions against the Islamic Republic may undermine international nuclear negotiations. Last week President Obama warned during his annual State of the Union Address that he would veto any Iran sanctions bill if it is passed by Congress.

US Sectary of State John Kerry said that existing sanctions on Iran will stay fully in place as the nuclear negotiations continue. What is the implication of this announcement? Do you think that the United States still does not trust the Islamic Republic?

Of course there continues to be mutual distrust between Iran and the US although I think that if one looks at it objectively, the Iranian mistrust is much more legitimate, the US overthrew the Iranian national government, support Bashar after the revolution, tried to support Saddam Hussein, helped him use chemical weapons and of course the US initiates sanctions which prevented Iran over the last couple of years from even importing medicine and food stuff. And part of the sanctions that have been lifted permits Iran to import medicine. But over the last couple of years sick Iranians have died because of the crisis in medicine. So, I think Iranians feel that the US is not trustworthy and the US on the other hand wants to continue to put pressure on Iran because of existing hostilities between the two countries.

Earlier Congress promised to impose new sanctions on Iran but President Obama said he would veto any such attempt. What is your stance on the issue? How could additional sanctions influence the nuclear negotiations? Do you think it could jeopardize the interim deal?

I think the US government recognizes that Iranians are quite serious and that new sanctions in the eyes of the international community would be seen as not only illegitimate but also the US would be seen as the party that is preventing a decrease in tension than any sort of XXX (2:38) taking place. So, that is why Mr. Obama has said that he would veto any new sanctions that come from Congress or the Senate because at the moment the international community wants to see this issue resolved and of course the side that imposes new sanctions to wreck the current agreement would be blamed by the international community and that is what Obama is afraid of. He is afraid that American power and authority would decrease and the US would be blamed for the standoff.

The interim deal signed by six world powers and the Islamic Republic has already come into force. How do you see the international efforts? Do you think Iran is sincere in its promises?

I think the Iranians have been sincere form the start, if we look over the last decade. The US and its allies have made many accusations against Iran and have claimed that Iran is developing nuclear weapons but no evidence of that has been provided for all these years. And on the other hand, we see that the international atomic energy agency has imposed strict set of rules and regulations for experts to look into Iranian nuclear installations. And they have never found anything suspicious.