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.”
The outgoing @SecPompeo's frustration is understandable. His "max pressure policy reached a max failure..."— Saeed Khatibzadeh (@SKhatibzadeh) November 18, 2020
I discussed w/ @PressTV, the US economic terrorism against Iran, JCPOA's future, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, situation in Afghanistan & more.
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.
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.
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.”