DUBAI: President Hassan Rowhani yesterday said international sanctions on Iran would unravel in months following negotiations with world powers on its nuclear programme, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Some international sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme have been eased temporarily after a deal was reached last year with world powers, but Washington has said the lifting of sanctions can only happen “in total” after a comprehensive deal is reached.
“With your support, this government has taken the first steps towards the lifting of the brutal sanctions ... We will witness the sanctions shattering in the coming months,” Rowhani told a crowd during a tour of Sistan-Baluchestan, a restive underdeveloped province bordering Pakistan.
“Today we already see the sanctions unravelling,” he said, according to IRNA, referring to the modest easing of sanctions in return for concessions made by Rowhani’s government in nuclear talks with world powers.
In an interim deal with Iran reached in November, US and EU negotiators agreed to lift sanctions on sectors such as petrochemicals and precious metals for six months, with broader sanctions relief if Iran agrees to permanent curbs on its nuclear programme.
The president blamed both the sanctions and “tactless policies” by the previous hardline administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the economic hardship faced by his nation.
“Due to the brutal sanctions and unwise administration, our country has faced myriad problems in the past years... but we will break down the inhuman sanctions,” Rowhani said.
“We will prove to the world through these negotiations that what has been said about Iran is a lie. Iran has never pursued nuclear weapons and never will.”
Iran’s foreign minister held talks yesterday in the United Arab Emirates in Tehran’s latest effort to mend fences with Gulf states suspicious of its nuclear programme and regional ambitions.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, home to a sizable Iranian community, the WAM state news agency reported.
The two discussed “bilateral relations... and ways to enhance peace and stability,” WAM said, adding that Zarif delivered an invitation from President Hasan Rowhani to visit Tehran.