Iran Says New Sanctions Show Trump's Call for Talks Is Empty

(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s foreign ministry said new sanctions announced by the U.S. government show President Donald Trump’s calls for negotiations with the Islamic Republic are hollow, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

“It only took one week for the emptiness of the U.S. president’s claim of wanting negotiations with Iran to be shown,” said Abbas Mousavi, the spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to ISNA. “The American policy of maximum pressure is a failed one."

The U.S. on Friday sanctioned Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, Iran’s largest and most profitable petrochemical holding group, over what it said was the company’s support of the country’s revolutionary guard. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move was a "warning" to show the U.S. will continue to sanction companies that "provide financial lifelines" to Iran’s revolutionary guard.

While Trump said in Tokyo last month he would welcome efforts by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to ease tensions between Washington and Iran, only a commitment by the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal would make that a success, ISNA quoted Iran’s top security body as saying. Iran also wants a lifting of sanctions and compensation for damages, a spokesman for the country’s Supreme National Security Council said.

Abe is scheduled to visit Iran on June 12, the first visit by a serving Japanese Prime Minister to the Islamic Republic.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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