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09/04/19

Foreign Minister Zarif: US sanctions on Iran's space program 'ineffective'

Source: Press TV

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has downplayed as "ineffective" the US's recent sanctions on the country's space program, saying Washington's extreme use of economic leverage will gradually threaten its economic might. Zarif made the remarks after a meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Iranian Space Agency (ISA)
Iranian Space Agency (ISA)

Asked about the new US bans against Iran's civilian space agency and two of research organizations, the top Iranian diplomat said the Americans "have become addicted to sanctions" and target one government or another on a daily basis.

Such sanctions, he added, "have no effect, and the world will gradually begin to mock the United States, too." Washington's "use of sanctions as economic leverage has become so extreme that it will gradually pose a threat to the US economic power," he added.

On Tuesday, the US Treasury slapped sanctions on the Iran Space Agency, Iran Space Research Center and the Astronautics Research Institute.

Reacting to the move, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took to Twitter to dismiss the sanctions.

In early Wednesday, Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi took to Twitter to dismiss the sanctions.

Elsewhere in his comments, Zarif commented on Europe's France-led efforts to save a 2015 nuclear deal, whose fate has been hanging in the balance since America's exit from it in May 2018.

He criticized as "regrettable" Europe's call for the US's approval of the European measures to save the nuclear agreement.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Washington's approval was cruscial for a proposed $15 billion credit lines for Iranian oil sales.

The idea is "to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA ... and two, security in the [Persian] Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear program). All this (pre)supposes that [US] President [Donald] Trump issues waivers," Le Drian said on Tuesday, using an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Zarif said, "That France or the European Union need to get permission from the US to take their measures is of course understandable, but regrettable from our point of view."

The US cannot legally prevent Europe from honoring its commitments under the JCPOA, he noted.

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