US sanctions against Iran will have "severe consequences" for the world order, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday, days before new sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports take effect.
"Unfortunately a law-breaking country (the United States) seeks to punish a country (Iran) that is abiding by the law… This method will have severe consequences for the world order," Zarif said during a visit to Istanbul, according to IRNA.
However, Zarif added, "Americans have not achieved their goals by imposing illegal sanctions against Iran."
Washington reintroduced sanctions against Iran's currency trade, metals and the auto sector in August after it pulled out from a multinational 2015 deal that lifted sanctions in return for limits on Iran's nuclear program.
A new set of sanctions on Iranian banking and energy sectors are to take effect Nov. 5, as US President Donald Trump seeks to cut oil purchases from the Islamic Republic to zero.
Tehran says it has complied fully with the nuclear accord – signed by Iran, the US, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany – and its commitment has been repeatedly confirmed by the UN atomic watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Trump says the deal, approved by his predecessor Barack Obama, does not cover Iran's ballistic missiles, its role in the Middle East or what happens after the nuclear pact begins to expire in 2025.
"The world community has stood up to the US sanctions," Zarif said, after a trilateral meeting between Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan's foreign ministers.
"The neighboring countries and Europeans nations have resisted against Washington's unilateral measures."
European signatories of the nuclear deal are still committed to the accord and will soon launch a mechanism, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), aiming to sidestep the US financial system by using an EU intermediary to handle trade with Iran.
Speaking to CBS News, Zarif said US sanctions “hurt people,” but Washington can’t force Tehran to change its policy.
“Sanctions will have an economic impact, but they will not change policy. The United States must learn that,” Zarif told CBS News in Tehran on Sunday.
“The US has an addiction to sanctions and they believe that sanctions are the panacea that resolve all problems. They don’t. They in fact hurt people and we have an obligation as a government to minimize the impact on the people. But sanctions never change policy.”
“It is the first time that the Europeans are not only making statements against US policy but are developing a mechanism to avoid these sanctions and to compensate for the sanctions,” Zarif said.
“I didn’t spend two and a half years in negotiating this deal in order to simply walk away from it, because I know that there won’t be a better deal. There will never be a better deal for the United States,” Zarif said.
“I can assure President Trump with all his negotiating skills that this is the best deal that was possible. The best deal for us. The best deal for Europe. The best deal for the United States, the best deal for Russia and China, and the best deal for the international community.”
Reuters contributed to this story.