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Iranian foreign minister wants respect from US

Iranian foreign minister wants respect from US

Earlier in the week, European Union foreign ministers discussed ways to ensure the USA would not pull out of the nuclear deal, but stopped short of agreeing to new sanctions on Tehran.

France, Britain, and Germany have been trying to come up with a side deal with the United States to salvage the deal.

Britain, France and Germany are looking at imposing new European sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles program and its role in the Syrian conflict in an attempt to keep Trump from pulling out. "And those options are ready to be implemented and we would make the necessary decision when we see fit", added the foreign minister, who is in the United States to attend a UN meeting on sustaining peace.

"The U.S.is conducting talks under "what's mine is mine principle" and what's yours - can be discussed", he explained.

The US will decide whether or not to restore economic sanctions on Tehran by May 12, a decision which could prove to be a severe blow to the 2015 pact. Teheran refused any amendments.

"America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment. Because it's not acceptable for us to have a one sided agreement", he said.

"Iran has several options if the United States leaves the nuclear deal".

President Trump, who as a candidate, threatened to walk away from the deal by May 12 if tougher restrictions were not imposed on the country.

Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for U.S. lawmakers and European allies to "fix" the nuclear deal or face a usa exit.

Zarif said Pompeo's Capitol Hill testimony that Iran was not "racing towards a bomb" was a "late admission but better than never".

Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: "We will not be the first to violate the accord, but they should definitely know that they will regret it if they violate it".

Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron begins Monday a state visit to Washington.

At least five Americans are held being in Tehran and have been sentenced to prison in Iran on espionage-related charges. Zarif showed little optimism about such efforts, saying "to try to appease the President would be an exercise in futility".

Asked whether the Iranians were open to an exchange, he replied, "It is a possibility, certainly from a humanitarian perspective, but it requires a change in attitude".

A senior advisor to Irans Supreme Leader on worldwide affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has issued a directive to open branches of the Iranian Islamic Azad University in Syria, reports Middle East Monitor.

Zarif said many prisoners are being held in the U.S. and elsewhere at Washington's request.


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