RNA - Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks in a Thursday tweet, while commemorating the last day of the Iranian solar year, which marks the Oil Nationalization Day in Iran.
On March 20, 1951, members of the Iranian parliament voted unanimously in favor of a bill introduced by the country’s then democratically-elected prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq, to nationalize Iran’s oil industry.
The initiative put an end to Britain’s four-decade monopoly over Iran’s oil industry. Before the bill was passed, the British oil giant, known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), enjoyed monopolistic control over the industry and used to pay only a small share of the revenues to the Iranian government.
In retaliation for Mosaddeq’s revolutionary move, Britain and the United States imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil sector and later colluded to stage a coup against the ex-premier’s government in 1953 in a bid to reinstate the Western-back monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in power after the bans failed to bear result.
“69 yrs ago today, Iran's democratically-elected PM nationalized our oil industry to end plunder of our wealth. US response: embargo + regime change,” Zarif said in his tweet.
He then compared the policy to the one that the United States has been following toward the Islamic Republic since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, rebuking Washington for pursuing the same threadbare and futile policy, which has already been proved to be of no value in making Iran give in to excessive US demands.
“From 1979, embargo + regime change again became staple of US policy on Iran - even amid #covid19,” Iran's foreign minister added in reference to the new coronavirus pandemic, advising US politicians to change that “bankrupt policy.”
69 yrs ago today, Iran's democratically-elected PM nationalized our oil industry to end plunder of our wealth. US response: embargo + regime change
From 1979, embargo + regime change again became staple of US policy on Iran - even amid #covid19
Time to change a bankrupt policy.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 19, 2020
The US reinstated its anti-Iran sanctions in 2018 as part of its campaign of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic Republic that began under President Donald Trump. Washington took the move after illegally and unilaterally leaving a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Tehran whose other signatories included the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) -- known as the World Court -- has ordered the US to lift the sanctions it has re-imposed on Iran-headed humanitarian supplies.
Washington alleges that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from its anti-Iran sanctions, something that Tehran rejects as a “brazen” lie as the bans have deterred several foreign banks from doing any business with Tehran.
Iran has written to the United Nations and all international organizations, urging the removal of the draconian measures that have come in the way of the country’s fight against the virus.
No earlier than on Wednesday, the United States brought new sanctions into force against some Iranian, Chinese, Hong Kong, and South African firms. The US State Department claimed in a statement that the sanctions were meant to deprive Iran of “critical income from its petrochemical industry and further Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation.”
Also on Wednesday, Zarif lashed out at the US for “vengefully” refusing to lift its “unlawful and collective punishment” amid the Islamic Republic’s battle against the COVID-19 outbreak, stressing that all countries needed to work together if they sought to emerge victorious against the fatal pandemic.
“My country is among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus even as like other nations we are now learning how to better confront it,” he said in a video released on the on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year.
So far, the new virus has claimed 1,284 lives in Iran and infected more than 18,000 others.
The huge part of the danger that the Iranians were facing, however, boiled down to the restrictions that had “unjustly” been imposed on them by the United States government.
“Iran, today, is the most intensely sanctioned country in history, not in line with United Nations decisions but contrary to them. The economic siege imposed on us impedes all legitimate trade and deprives us of our own resources -- the ones necessary to address the needs of our people, including their health and livelihoods,” he noted.