Publish date6 Oct 2018 - 16:22
Story Code : 365491

US President is not reliable negotiating partner: Iran's FM

"The United States has once again proved that it is not a reliable negotiating partner by pulling out of a decades-old treaty with Iran, stressing that US President Donald Trump is not bound by any negotiated settlement," Iranian Foreign Minister said.
US President is not reliable negotiating partner: Iran

"They (the US) were always saying that we want a treaty with Iran. Now they just withdrew from the [1955 Treaty of Amity] that we have with the United States because the International Court of Justice ruled against them," Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera in New York released on Friday.

"That tells you that whatever you negotiate with this president and with this administration, they're not going to be bound by it," he added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington is canceling a 1955 treaty with Tehran after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United States to halt the unilateral sanctions it recently re-imposed on "humanitarian" supplies to Iran.

“I’m announcing that the United States is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, this is a decision that is 39 years overdue,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.

The Hague-based ICJ, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on Wednesday regarding the July lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington's decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Iran’s lawsuit argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US. It also called on the court to order Washington to immediately suspend the measures.

The decisions of the ICJ – which rules on disputes between UN member states – are legally binding and cannot be appealed.

In response to a question about the US move to pull out from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif once again defended the deal that is in the "interest of the international community."

"The nuclear deal is the best the United States can get, and it's the best Iran can get, and it's the best the international community can get," the top Iranian diplomat told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan.

Asked if Iran will ever meet with the US president or members of his administration, Zarif said, "In politics, never say never. But I believe that there is need for a serious change in the [US] administration."

He emphasized that Iran is "not actually eager to meet with" President Trump because the "United States is not a reliable negotiating partner."

Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program. The deal had been signed between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- plus Germany in 2015.

The US administration reintroduced the previous sanctions while imposing new ones on the Islamic Republic. It also introduced punitive measures — known as secondary sanctions — against third countries doing business with Iran.

A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran’s oil sales and its Central Bank.

The Iranian foreign minister further stressed that Tehran should benefit from the "economic dividends" of the JCPOA.

"Iran has given the Europeans some time, because they asked us for some time to try to compensate for US departure from the nuclear deal," he added. "That means that Iran needs to receive the economic dividends of the deal."

Despite Washington's withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the remaining signatories to the agreement now had to work to offset the negative impacts of the US pullout for Iran if they wanted Tehran to remain in it.

Other parties to the JCPOA have repeatedly announced that the deal is working and should stay in place.

Addressing the Austrian parliament in Vienna on Friday, European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the bloc is determined to keep the nuclear agreement in place despite the US withdrawal.

He added that the EU is sticking to the agreement and engaged in "intensive talks" with the Americans about the deal.

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