Sanctions can never press Iran, says Zarif

Tehran, Jan 9: Sanctions’ pressure against Iran could never serve as an instrument to press the country, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said Wednesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has proven that it does not succumb to pressure,” reported Xinhua citing Zarif during a meeting with a visiting British parliamentary team in Tehran Wednesday.

The four-member British delegation, headed by former foreign secretary Jack Straw, arrived in Tehran on a three-day visit Tuesday.

It would be “very easy” to reach an agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy programme, Zarif said, adding that “mutual trust” is a pre-requisite to reach an understanding.

Zarif also expressed hope that the British delegation’s visit would pave the way for improving bilateral ties based on mutual interests.

For his part, Straw said Tuesday that he was “optimistic” about the implementation of an interim nuclear deal signed between Iran and six major world powers last November.

In a meeting with the head of Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group, Abbas-Ali Mansouri-Arani, Straw said Iran had the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Straw held several meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when Rouhani was the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council and the country’s chief nuclear negotiator in the talks with Britain, France, and Germany between 2003 and 2005.

IANS