Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif censured the new US administration for pursuing the “maximum pressure” campaign launched by former president Donald Trump even during the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
In a post on his Twitter account on Friday, Zarif published the image of a 6.5-year-old Iranian girl who was affected by the US sanctions, and a letter written by her and addressed to the US.
“This is a little girl who's paid the price for cruel & inhumane choices of politicians far away,” Zarif said, according to Press TV.
He added that the girl’s situation is not “unique” in Iran as the United States “continues to exert Trump's failed ‘maximum pressure’ on Iranians” even amid COVID-19.
Zarif asked, “Isn't it time to try something that may actually work?”
In 2015, Iran and six world states — the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — signed the historic nuclear deal — formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – which was ratified in the form of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
However, the US under Trump unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018 and reinstated the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted by the deal.
The Trump administration also launched what it called a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, targeting the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures that Iran has condemned as "economic terrorism".
Trump’s maximum pressure has been met with Iran's “maximum resistance” policy, which includes economic measures to weather the pressure as well as reducing Tehran's commitments under the JCPOA.
US President Joe Biden has indicated his administration's willingness to return to the JCPOA, but Washington has been dragging its feet on taking action to undo Trump’s policy.
Joe, who had said Trump’s maximum pressure policy was “maximum failure”, has not changed that policy, with Tehran saying “Washington is addicted to pressure, sanctions and bullying, and it does not work with Iran”.
The US president on Friday extended for another year the national emergency declared with respect to Iran in the year 1995, the White House announced.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Biden said, "I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12957 with respect to Iran and to maintain in force comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat."
According to Sputnik, he further said that the decision has been taken as the actions and policies of the government of Iran continue to pose “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the US.