Tehran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said the government in Tehran will not hold negotiations with the United States after it imposed new sanctions on Tehran, targeting revenue from its exports of industrial metals, officials said on Friday.
IRGC’s deputy head of political affairs, Yadollah Javani, said that US President Donald Trump believed that after imposing the new sanctions, Iran would face a state of internal disarray and would eventually seek negotiations.
Javani warned the US against taking any military measures against the Islamic Republic, Tasnim news agency reported.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urged Europe to stand up to the pressure the US had put it under in order to salvage the nuclear deal brokered four years ago.
Zarif called on the European Union to fulfil its obligations to normalize economic relations with his country and said it was to blame for reaching this situation.
“The US has bullied Europe – and rest of world – for a year and EU can only express ‘regret’,” Zarif tweeted.
He referred to the European Union Thursday statement in which it called on Iran to continue to comply with its commitments set out in the nuclear deal signed and lamented the US sanctions against Tehran.
“Instead of demanding that Iran unilaterally abide by a multilateral accord, the EU should uphold obligations – including the normalization of economic ties,” Zarif added.
European countries have taken a series of measures to counter US sanctions, including a special payment channel, but they have proved largely unsuccessful.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country was reducing its own commitments under the agreement and would no longer respect limits on its reserves of low-enriched uranium – currently limited to 300 kg – and heavy water, another chemical compound used in nuclear facilities.
In addition, Rouhani issued a 60-day moratorium for the rest of the signatories of the pact to fulfil Iran’s demands and save the country’s banking system and oil trade from international sanctions.
Hours after Rouhani’s announcement, Trump imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminium and copper sectors and said those industries account for 10 per cent of Iranian exports.
Washington abandoned the nuclear agreement despite the support of the co-signatories and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proving Iran’s commitment to the deal in 14 reports.
The nuclear deal limits Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting international sanctions but has been weakened after Washington’s exit.