Iran’s foreign minister says if the United States and the UN Security Council persist in “adversarial confrontation and continue sanctions” against Iran, then Iran will continue its enrichment program “without any limitations”.

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Mohammad Javad Zarif

According to the nuclear negotiations, Iran has agreed to stop its uranium enrichment program for 15 years.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told Euronews in Lisbon on Friday April 17: “We can have the path of confrontation or we can have the path of co-operation; we cannot have a little bit of each.”

Zarif has been leading the Iranian delegation in nuclear talks with the 5+1, and earlier this month the parties announced that they had reached a framework agreement; however, since then some disagreements have arisen over the actual content of the agreement.

Zarif said on Friday: “If we take the path of confrontation, the U.S. and the UN will continue with their sanctions, and Iran will continue with its enrichment program. Without any limitations.”

Iran has insisted on the full lifting of all sanctions when the agreement takes effect on June 30, while the United States has been saying the agreement calls for a more graduated lifting.

“Unfortunately, the United States started… using the phrase ‘phased sanctions’,” Zarif explained. “If you go through the joint statement, you will not even see the word ‘suspension’ and you will not see the word ‘phase’. It’s clear that all sanctions, all economic and financial sanctions will be terminated.”

The U.S. Congress is also trying to approve a bill that will prohibit the lifting of sanctions for at least one month after the execution of the deal.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has announced that Iran will not sign any deal that does not guarantee the lifting of sanctions from the day of its execution.