As the United States went on with its scheduled reimposition of economic sanctions on the Islamic republic of Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has held talks with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Tehran. This was an attempt to show defiance to the Trump warnings.
The meeting was held on Tuesday between the two high profile diplomats from countries that are both under American sanctions coincided with the return of sanctions. The sanctions has been described the US President Donald Trump as “the most biting ever”.
Zein Basravi, a journalist, reported from Tehran that the timing of the meeting is “likely no coincidence”.
“Iran wants America to know it has friends everywhere.”
In a social media post on Tuesday night, Zarif wrote that the “world is sick & tired of US unilateralism”, adding that “the world won’t follow impulsive tweeted diktats”.
“Just ask EU, Russia, China & dozens of our other trading partners,” Zarif continued.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump wrote on social media that “anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States”.
“I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” Trump said.
Kimberly Halkett, a journalist reporting from the White House, said the “overarching message” from Trump conveys that other countries should not be doing business with Iran.
But Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project at the International Crisis Group, said the fresh and current US sanctions would have less effect on Iran compared with previous measures.
“Sanctions are effective as they have international support. This time around, the US is basically bullying the rest of the world into compliance. There are many countries who would not comply like China or Russia,” he said.
“As a result, the leaky sanctions regime would not be as effective as the previous round of sanctions.”
European governments who were also partners in the signed Iran nuclear deal along with Washington are also infuriated by Trump’s strategy.
Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, encouraged companies to do more and increased business with Iran despite new US sanctions, saying Tehran had upheld all its commitments under the deal to limit its nuclear programme.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday during her recent trip to Wellington, New Zealand, Mogherini said it is up to Europeans to decide who they want to trade with.
“We are doing our best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran because we believe this is in the security interests of not only our region, but also of the world,” she said.
“If there is one piece of international agreements on nuclear non-proliferation that is delivering, it has to be maintained.”
British Foreign Office Minister Alastair Burt said that “Americans have really not got this right”.
The nuclear deal was very important “not only to the region’s security but the world’s security”, he told the BBC.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply disappointed” by the return of sanctions, adding that it would do “everything necessary” to save the 2015 nuclear deal.
China said it will not abide by the recently imposed US sanctions.
Trump’s decision in May this year to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran have spooked investors and triggered a run on the Iranian rial long before the punishing sanctions came back into force on Tuesday.
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