RNA - In a joint press conference with his Afghan counterpart Fazl Hadi Moslem Yar in Tehran on Saturday, Larijani said that US sanctions on Tehran’s top diplomat is a sign that Washington is not true in its calls for holding talks with Iran.
“They are speaking of fresh negotiation while they have recently sanctioned our country’s chief executive for negotiations Mohammad Javad Zarif,” the top lawmaker said, adding, “That is a sign of their hypocrisy and untruthfulness.”
The Iranian parliament speaker, himself a former top negotiator in nuclear talks with world powers, said calls for new negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program comes against the backdrop of moves by the US to destroy a 2015 deal that was supposed to settle the issue after years of difficult talks.
The US Department of Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions against Zarif.
According to Fars News Agancy, Zarif, who has been Iran’s foreign minister since 2013, was the chief negotiator in the multinational nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The Trump administration said last month it was planning to impose sanctions against Iranian top diplomat.
In reaction to the decision, Zarif played down the US sanctions against him, expressing pleasure that he is considered as a "huge threat" to Washington's plots.
"The US' reason for designating me is that I am Iran's primary spokesperson around the world," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account early Thursday.
"It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran," he added, asking the US whether the truth is really painful.
"Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda," Zarif reiterated.
"We know that calling for dialog and peace is an existential threat to B-Team. And since reason for designating me is my words, would US persons need OFAC license to engage with me by reading my writings or listening to interviews?" he wrote two hours later.
Zarif had earlier told the New York Times that "everyone who knows me knows that I, or my family, do not own any property outside Iran. I personally do not even have a bank account outside Iran. Iran is my entire life and my sole commitment. So I have no personal problem with possible sanctions".
"The only impact--and possibly the sole objective--of a possible designation would be to limit my ability to communicate. And I doubt that would serve anyone. Certainly, it would limit the possibility of informed decision making in Washington," he added.