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    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi. File photo

    Iran’s Deputy FM: US Is a ‘Bully’ But It Is ‘Isolated Politically’ – Reports

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    Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said that Trump’s decision to exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose sanctions has made the US politically isolated, while Iran would be able to sidestep the sanctions.

    Araqchi made his comments in Madrid after talks with senior Spanish officials, IRNA reported on Saturday.

    READ MORE: Dollar Becomes a 'Weapon for US', Challenges EU Sovereignty – Iranian Deputy FM

    “Maybe, the country has to pay heavy prices for sanctions but they cannot change Iran's policies. The previous US administration had imposed much harder sanctions against Iran but eventually, it had to sit for negotiations. Trump is still following an already failed experience. The United States is an economic power and like a bully is putting pressure on other countries. But it is a country which has been isolated politically,” he said.

    Araqchi also answered questions regarding the impact of US sanctions on Iran, saying that most companies were expecting the re-imposition of sanctions after Donald Trump took office. Those companies not linked with the United States are continuing their cooperation with Iran, noting that around 3,000 small, medium-size and large companies are working with Iran. “What they want is a financial channel for doing business,” he said.

    He also outlined that Iran’s nuclear programme remains under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which ”has verified 13 times Iran's commitment to its obligations under the deal.”

    Araqchi also answered a question from ABC Spain on Iran’s alleged presence in Yemen. "We have no presence in Yemen. We are in contact with Houthis but this does not mean that they (Houthis) are doing whatever we want them to do," he outlined, cited by IRNA.

    “This war is the result of Saudis' miscalculations. They used to talk about eliminating the Houthis within two months but with the passage of four years, the war is still raging in that country. This is why they intend to attribute this to Iran. The solution is not the war but rather politics,” he added.

    Araqchi assured that Tehran had devised all necessary preparations in different sectors and would undertake the necessary measures in due time. He also accused the US of threatening Europe that it would face sanctions if it cooperates with Iran in countering American anti-Iranian policies.

    "This is against European countries' sovereignty and I think that the Europeans must decide whether they will adopt measures to safeguard their sovereignty and credibility or not," Araqchi pointed out.

    “We are waiting to see how Europe will defend its sovereignty against Washington's pressure,” he added, cited by Press TV.

    According to the deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — in 2015, Iran limited its nuclear programme in exchange for the gradual removal of nuclear-related sanctions. However, in May Washington withdrew from the landmark nuclear agreement and reintroduced sanctions against Tehran. The first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sectors; the second round was introduced in November, targeting Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off the country's oil sales and crucial exports.


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