Trump changes approach to nuclear deal, top diplomat says
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s top diplomat, told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview over the weekend that his government would consider diplomacy if there were “foundations for a fruitful dialogue” on the Iran nuclear reduction deal. In May, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the pact made with world powers and Iran. Other signatories stayed in.
“Mutual trust is not a requirement to start negotiations – mutual respect is a requirement,” Zarif said in a wide-ranging, 45-minute interview.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on state TV in August that he would be willing to meet with Trump over the collapsing deal, but Rouhani questioned Trump’s “sincerity” in any theoretical talks. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton dismissed Rouhani’s comments as propaganda. The United States and Iran effectively broke off all diplomatic contact when Trump decided to exit the agreement.
The Trump “administration does not believe in diplomacy. It believes in imposition,” Zarif said in the interview before the White House reimposed crushing economic sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sectors Monday.
The administration said the sanctions, lifted under the deal Iran signed with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany when Barack Obama was president, are aimed at taking stronger steps to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, its missile activity and the billions of dollars it spends funding terrorism and sowing discord across the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen.
Read More: USA Today
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