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Treat us with respect if you want talks, Iran tells US

July 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif makes a speech during ‘Iran – Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) common commercial conference’ in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq on January 15, 2019 [Feriq Fereç / Anadolu Agency]

Iran will not be pressured into negotiations by the United States, but if authorities in Washington act towards it with respect, Tehran will respond accordingly, Reuters reported Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying today.

The two countries have been drawn into starker confrontation since May, when Washington mounted pressure on Tehran by ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil, and the future of Iran’s 2015 nuclear pact with world powers hangs in the balance.

Washington has tightened sanctions and dispatched extra forces to the Middle East, and US fighter jets came within minutes of conducting airstrikes on Iran last month after Tehran downed an unmanned American drone.

“Iran will never yield to pressure from the United States … If they want to talk to Iran, they should show respect,” Zarif said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.

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“Never threaten an Iranian … Iran has always resisted pressure and has responded with respect when respected.”

US President Donald Trump has called for negotiations with Iran with “no preconditions”.

But Tehran has ruled out talks with Trump until the United States returns to the nuclear pact, which he quit last year, and has referred to the latest US sanctions – on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior officials – as “idiotic”.