14:24 GMT29 November 2020
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    Washington imposed a new round of sanctions against Iran on Wednesday, targeting multiple persons and dozens of entities including a charity linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The same day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to slap more sanctions on Iran “in the coming weeks and months.”

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has responded directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s threats to introduce more sanctions against Iran, tweeting that the US official’s “frustration” was perfectly understandable, given that the Trump administration’ policy of “max pressure” has been a “max failure.”

    In an interview with Iran’s Press TV, Khatibzadeh commented on Donald Trump’s reported pledge to build a “wall of sanctions” against Tehran to try to make it impossible for a successor to reverse the US course, suggesting that the administration’s policies are little more than hot air.

    “In their own words, as you know O’Brien, American NSA, has said that there is nothing left to be sanctioned. Actually these are part of the psychological war against Iranians,” the spokesman said, referring to Trump national security advisor Robert O’Brien.

    “They are trying to somehow, out of frustration, impose new sanctions to actually convince that their ‘maximum pressure’ policy is still alive. Everybody knows to what extent they have not been able to reach any goals of their policy, so you have to be very careful in terms of their announcements. These are out of frustration, I think with the sanctions they are obsessed with Iran and the way that Iran has been able to address all these unprecedented sanctions that they have ever imposed on any nation,” Khatibzadeh said.

    Asked to comment on whether Iran could trust Washington under a hypothetical Biden presidency, and the US’s possible return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, Khatibzadeh said it was “too soon to talk about that.”

    “The only way that we can secure that [the nuclear deal] is going to survive is for everybody to get back to get back to full compliance, and Iran is definitely ready if the other side is ready to get back to full compliance and the full implementation of the JCPOA,” the spokesman said.

    According to Khatibzadeh, the Trump administration’s decision to scrap the nuclear deal, and to pull out of a range of treaties and organizations including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Paris Climate Accord and UNESCO were all examples of the White House’s “success” in undermining global trust toward Washington. “The United States has shown to everybody that it is not trustworthy. So any move by the United States should be in a way that can actually regain access to this room that Iran and other remaining JCPOA members are in right now. Gaining access to get back to the room is very difficult,” the official said.

    Khatibzadeh stressed that even under a potential Biden administration, the US would be “in no position to put conditions” on any country, “especially Iran,” and that includes the nuclear deal.

    Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif indicated that Iran would be prepared to discuss a possible US return to the JCPOA.

    The Biden campaign has hinted at the possibility of rejoining the agreement, but only if it is “renegotiated.” Donald Trump had similarly proposed creating a new nuclear deal from scratch. Tehran has rejected any talk of renegotiating the landmark 2015 accord.

    The US slapped more sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, with Secretary Pompeo promising additional restrictions “in the coming weeks and months.” The new sanctions target nine individuals and dozens of entities, including the Ayatollah Khamenei-liked Bonyad Mostazafan charity, which the US Treasury claims is “a key patronage network” for Iran’s supreme leader.

    A week earlier, Washington slapped separate sanctions on four Iranians and six businesses, with those restrictions following yet more sanctions on Iran’s oil sector, including the Ministry of Petroleum, and restrictions on the country’s banking sector.

    On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused the “US regime” of seeking not only to pressure Tehran economically, but “to create famine in Iran.” He added however that US policy has “failed to break us.”

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