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Iran's FM: Sanctions, sabotage will not push us to negotiate

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Moscow, Russia on January 26, 2021 [RU Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Moscow, Russia on January 26, 2021 [RU Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that sanctions and sabotage attempts will not create opportunities for negotiations with the United States over the nuclear deal, but rather make the matter more complicated.

This came in a meeting between Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in the capital, Tehran, yesterday, in response to the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility, according to state television.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed regional and international issues, including the long-term cooperation agreement between Tehran and Moscow, the nuclear deal, and the sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Zarif said: "The United States should know that sanctions and acts of sabotage will not provide opportunities for negotiations. These actions will only complicate the matter for them."

He pointed out that the Natanz nuclear facility will soon advance with more sophisticated centrifuges than the ones that were damaged in an attack this weekend.

READ: Iran to begin 60% uranium enrichment after nuclear site incident

By launching the attack, he continued, "Tel Aviv thought that it would weaken Iran's position in the nuclear file negotiations," stressing that the attack would make Iran even stronger.

The Iranian foreign minister also renewed his call to the US administration to lift the unilateral sanctions imposed on his country and return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

He hinted that Tehran would include European officials on its sanctions list in response to the European Union's decision to impose sanctions on Iranian officials.

"Europe is not in a morally superior position and cannot preach to the world in this regard. Xenophobia and Islamophobia have created terrible conditions in Europe."

Zarif thanked Russia for the support it provided following the bombing, which occurred at dawn on Sunday at the Natanz nuclear facility.

READ: Natanz incident sets Iran nuclear activity back several months

In response to a question about Moscow's position on the nuclear deal, Lavrov said that his country is making efforts to activate all conditions of the agreement signed in 2015 between Iran, the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany.

The Russian official added: "All sanctions on Iran should be lifted unconditionally, and we hope that the lifting of sanctions will increase chances of cooperation."

He stressed that the United States, which withdrew from the agreement in 2018, must abide by the UN Security Council resolution while warning of "serious consequences" if the Biden administration refrains from doing so.

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