Washington determined to continue harsh sanctions against Iran
The United States Special Representative on Iran says Washington will continue its policy of harsh sanctions against Islamic Republic.
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Brian Hook said on Friday that Washington plans to continue the harsh economic sanctions policy against the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring it to the negotiating table on issues such as the nuclear program.
"We refuse to play by that rule book. When you play under house rules, the house always wins," Hook said. "So we are going to continue with our policy."
He said the US would like to see Iran negotiate a new nuclear agreement.
Washington’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran officially started when Republican President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018.
Trump pulled his country out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in order to make Tehran capitulate to Washington’s wishes.
Iran, however, has not given in to US pressure and has announced the start of unlimited nuclear research and development work.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said it is up to Trump to decide when to redress his mistake of leaving the Iran nuclear deal signed between the Islamic Republic and major world powers.
In a post on his official Twitter account on Friday, Zarif directly addressed Trump, with a screenshot of his Tweet on the release of Michael White, a US citizen who had been sentenced to prison in Iran since 2018 for “security crimes” and in a lawsuit brought by “private plaintiffs.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement on Thursday night that White was released after satisfying the plaintiffs in respect to the cause of action while being granted “Islamic mercy for his other crimes.”
Tensions between Iran and the United States have increased since Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the international nuclear agreement and reinstated the sanctions.
Under Washington’s pressure, the three European signatories to the JCPOA -- France, Britain and Germany -- have so far failed to fulfill their contractual obligation to protect Tehran’s business interests against the sanctions.
In response, Iran began last May to gradually reduce its commitments as part of its legal rights under the JCPOA to both retaliate for Washington’s departure and prompt the European trio to respect their obligations towards Tehran.