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    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

    Iran Denies Claim That FM Zarif Wrote Letter to US State Secretary Tillerson

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    The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denied claims that its chief, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had written a letter to US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, in a statement published Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Javad Karimi Ghoddousi, an opposition lawmaker, accused Zarif of secretly communicating with the US foreign policy chief. He previously criticized Zarif for trusting ex-State Secretary John Kerry on the nuclear deal.

    "The wrong, baseless and again new claim of (MP) Javad Karimi Ghoddousi that Foreign Minister of our country has had correspondence with the US Secretary of State is strongly rejected," the ministry said.

    It threatened the opposition hardliner with consequences for his "obstinacy" and warned that his allegations sought to distort the public opinion in Iran, adding it would not affect the country’s foreign policy.

    Relations between the United States and Iran have been severed in 1980 following the Islamic revolution in Iran, when Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was overthrown. Since then, the US authorities imposed numerous sanctions against Iran, including those over Iran's nuclear program.

    On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 group of countries reached the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

    The agreement came into force on January 16, 2016, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) submitted a report confirming the readiness of Iran's authorities to implement the program to reduce the country’s nuclear potential and as a result most of the anti-Iranian sanctions have been lifted.

    On February 3, US President Donald Trump's administration imposed new sanctions against Iran, involving 25 individuals and entities based in Iran, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and China for allegedly supporting Tehran's ballistic missile program following its latest medium-range ballistic missile test on January 29.

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    letter, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Rex Tillerson, United States, Iran
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