Iran's foreign minister says United States sanctions are 'economic terrorism'

Iranian president says talks possible only if Washington shows

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a cabinet meeting in TehranMore

Trump has proposed talks "without preconditions" since July 2018, before the US had imposed sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors that crushed Iran's economy. Iran is suspected of carrying out the recent attack on four oil tankers in the Gulf, while US National Security Advisor John Bolton says Washington has credible evidence that Iran is planning attacks against US forces and their allies in the region.

Before Trump flew to Japan, the United States had announced it was sending 1,500 extra troops to the region, adding to the aircraft carrier group and nuclear-capable bomber planes already dispatched. On the contrary, as Mr Trump has made clear at his press conference in Japan, where he is now on a state visit, his main objective is to agree a new deal with Tehran, one that, unlike Mr Obama's flawed arrangement, addresses all aspects of Iran's nuclear ambitions, as well as its malign activities in the Middle East.

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in return for lifting worldwide sanctions.

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Turkey and Iran are now in efforts for an anti-sanctions financial mechanism to be developed for safeguarding trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the ambassador affirmed. "And if they want to talk, I'm available".

Last month, Iran partially suspended its commitments under the 2015 deal on its nuclear programs, known as the JCPOA. "He is imposing pressure", Zarif said. "It's next to us". How would you treat that?

Accusing the Trump administration of waging "economic terrorism" affecting the rights of both Iran and Turkey, Farazmand noted that "all countries are entitled to develop common trade ties with one another, and nothing illegal has been done in this regard".

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"I like to keep President Trump guessing because he likes everybody in the world to keep on guessing about what is happening in the United States", said Zarif. "The engaged in war against us, and a war is painful to our participants".

Asked by Raddatz if the consequences he was referring to was the equivalent of the phrase used by American officials that "all options are on the table", Zarif explained that he was referring to self defense.

Iran is locked in a tense standoff with the USA after Washington withdrew from the deal previous year and reimposed sanctions.

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