Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said that U.S. President Donald Trump's pressure on Iran would not lead to negotiations.
In an interview with American magazine The National Interest, Zarif said he believes that Trump does not want war with Iran.
Trump "believes he is trying to get a better deal through pressure," Zarif said. "If he has been advised that that is how to get a better deal, I think he has been misadvised—or ill-advised."
When asked as to why Iran doesn’t go to break a deal with Trump directly, Zarif said: “Because we already have an agreement with the government of the United States. Governments deal with each other; they don’t deal with individuals.
“If we agree that an agreement with the previous government could only last until President Trump came to office, then we would automatically have to consider that an agreement with President Trump could only last as long as he is in office—and that would make his natural inclination impossible to conduct.”
Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran in order to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing".
As part of its campaign, the U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which have nosedived the Iranian economy.
Reporting by Rasha Khalaf in Tehran
Writing by Mahmoud Barakat