Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waged a PR campaign on Sunday to assure the world that Iran is committed to implementation and development of the interim nuclear deal reached on November 24 in Geneva.
Some media outlets in the West exaggerated criticism by Tehran’s officials of last week’s blacklisting by the US Treasury of 19 Iranian companies and individuals, saying that the Islamic Republic had suspended talks.
In fact, Iran’s lead nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, had only said that Tehran would review the situation.
We will seriously continue the Geneva negotiations, albeit we will show proper, measured, purposeful, and smart responses to any improper and unconstructive action, even those which are not in violation of the agreement.
Over the past few days, the Americans took certain improper measures and we responded in an appropriate and calculated form.
The Foreign Minister implicitly knocked back hard-liners at home, saying that those “who were not happy with the Geneva deal [and] have announced the premature death of the deal” are expressing their wishes rather than reality.
Zarif reiterated the comments in an appearance on the US television channel CBS:
The Foreign Minister also had an hour-long interview with The Washington Post on Sunday.
Discussing issues such as the Arak heavy-water reactor and the Fordow enrichment plant, Zarif said:
We do not follow a policy of ambiguity; this is not our intention. We follow a policy of clarity — that we do not seek nuclear weapons.
But we’re not going to accept diktats.