Zarif: U.S. is ‘Obsessed’ with Sanctions Against Us

September 18, 2014  

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday accused the United States of being “obsessed” with sanctions against his country, AFP reported.

“We are committed to resolving this issue,” Zarif told a Washington think-tank, but he argued the U.S. was “infatuated” with sanctions and Congress was objecting to any deal “because they would have to lift the sanctions.”

“Iran has shown that we will live up to every agreement,” Zarif argued at a discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, just hours before the Iranian delegation was to meet in New York with U.S. counterparts for fresh talks.

A senior State Department official confirmed the two sides would meet late Wednesday and again Thursday in New York “as part of the upcoming EU-led P5+1 round of comprehensive nuclear negotiations.”

The full plenary session will open on Friday and the talks are expected to last throughout next week on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly.

Zarif highlighted that the “Iranian people are totally distrustful of the United States,” and argued a mechanism had to be found to instill confidence.

Iran and the powers failed to meet a July 20 target date for an agreement and have extended the deadline to November 24.

Last week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said his country and world powers remain far apart over Tehran’s nuclear program and a “difficult road” lies ahead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. chief negotiator with Iran, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, said that Iran cannot convince the world that its current ability to enrich uranium is acceptable.

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