In the latest statement defying Iran’s economic problems and US sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has declared that it is Tehran’s strength prompting the Trump Administration’s policy of “maximum pressure”.
Zarif told a group of MPs on Saturday, “American pressure on Iran is due to Iran’s power and might and not weakness.”
He claimed that the US position in the world is declining, comparing with Iran’s success in regional and international initiative: “The US is worried about its defeat in the field of diplomacy.”
MPs asked the Foreign Minister for the meeting for discussions on comprehensive US sanctions, imposed last November after Donald Trump withdrew the US in May from the 2015 nuclear agreement.
Zarif had been under pressure from hardliners over supposed weakness in dealing with the Americans, but he has been bolstered by US sanctions that were imposed on him on July 31, seizing any assets he has in the US and nominally imposing a travel ban.
Last week prominent Iranian figures such as Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani proclaimed their support for Zarif, who led the Iranian delegation in the nuclear talks with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China).
Meanwhile, Zarif has toughened his language towards both the US and the UK, amid tensions in the Persian Gulf. On Friday, he reiterated Iran’s warning against any multi-national force escorting tankers through the Strait of Hormuz, through which 1/5th of the world’s oil passes.
Persian Gulf is vital lifeline and thus nat'l security priority for Iran, which has long ensured maritime security.
Mindful of this reality, any extra-regional presence is by definition source of insecurity – despite propaganda.
Iran won't hesitate to safeguard its security.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 9, 2019