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Zarif: Iran will never trust the United States

Nuclear agreement between West and Tehran ‘doesn’t mean that the other side’s hostilities have ended,’ Iranian FM warns

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles during a meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Helsinki on Tuesday May 31, 2016. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif smiles during a meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Helsinki on Tuesday May 31, 2016. (Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva via AP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that despite the historic nuclear deal reached last year with Western powers, the Islamic Republic would never trust the United States.

“We never trust the US and the basis of our power is our fight against hegemony,” Zarif told Iranian lawmakers during an address to parliament.

Zarif went on to accuse Washington of perpetuating a hostile policy towards Iran, and of procrastinating the implementation of the sanctions relief for a nuclear rollback agreement that officially came into force earlier this year.

“The nuclear agreement doesn’t mean that the other side’s hostilities have ended since they always consider the Islamic Republic of Iran as an obstacle on their way; also it doesn’t mean that they have withdrawn from their stonewalling,” he said.

After the nuclear deal’s mid-January implementation, some international sanctions on Iran were lifted by the United Nations, the US and the European Union.

But the US and EU have kept sanctions related to Iran’s missile program, its human rights violations and its support for groups like Hezbollah, which Washington categorizes as a “terrorist” organization, in place.

More than a decade of nuclear-related sanctions hampered Tehran’s economy.

In the months following the deal’s implementation, Tehran has repeatedly accused President Barack Obama’s administration of not taking the required steps to reassure big international banks who are reluctant to do business with Iran for fear of punitive measures.

Earlier this month, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at the US, Britain and Israel as the Islamic Republic’s “main enemies,” and accused Washington of breaking its promises.

“We sat down and negotiated with the P5+1 group and even separately with the Americans over the nuclear issue,” he said in a televised speech marking the 27th anniversary of the death of his revolutionary predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “The other side, the Americans, made some commitments. The Islamic Republic met its commitments but the other unfaithful side is procrastinating.”

“Whoever trusts in the United States is committing a big mistake and will be hit with a slap” by them, he added.

“It’s the US, the evil Britain, and the damned and cancerous Zionist regime. These are the main enemies,” Khamenei added.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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