U.S. sanctions against Iran are a “reckless addiction”, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on Sunday, Reuters informed.
“The U.S.’ approach to sanctions betrays a pathological and reckless addiction — a condition that renders no bounds or boundary to what the U.S. may or may not do,” Zarif wrote. “And this addictive behavior affects friends and foes alike, unless collectively pushed back.”
Friction between Tehran and Washington has increased since last year when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six nations and re-imposed sanctions on the country, crippling its economy.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traveled to Tokyo on Friday to meet Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, becoming the first Iranian president to do so in 19 years, Newsweek reported.
The visit followed Abe’s historic trip to Tehran in June and, while then too the Japanese leader sought to ease worsening frictions between the U.S. and Iran, the security situation in the Persian Gulf, an oil lifeline for much of the world, including East Asia, has only deteriorated in the months since.
“The context of President Rouhani’s trip to Tokyo is efforts by Japanese PM Abe to mediate between the U.S. and Iran and decrease dangerous tensions in the Persian Gulf,” said Sina Toossi, a senior research analyst at the National Iranian American Council. “Japan was one of the major importers of Iranian oil and its energy security depends on stability in the region.”
Noting the “U.S.-Iran diplomatic deadlock” that followed Abe’s visit and missed opportunities at the United Nations General Assembly in September, Toossi said that “Rouhani’s trip at this juncture is more promising.”
Tokyo has managed to position itself in the middle of longtime foes Washington and Tehran, even as the two fell out over President Donald Trump’s unilateral exit from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, also endorsed by China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.