Code: 676547 A

The US is not a reliable negotiating partner and Iran is not actually eager to negotiate with that country, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera network in New York.

'We're not actually eager to meet with [US President Trump] because the United States is not a reliable negotiating partner,' Zarif told UpFront host Mehdi Hasan.

Elsewhere in the interview which was released on Friday, Zarif referred to US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding 'The nuclear deal is the best the United States can get, and it's the best Iran can get, and it's the best the international community can get.'

'They were always saying that we want a treaty with Iran. Now they just withdrew from the [1955 Treaty of Amity] that we have with the United States because the International Court of Justice ruled against them,' Zarif added. 'That tells you that whatever you negotiate with this president and with this administration, they're not going to be bound by it.'

The Hague-based ICJ, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on Wednesday regarding the July lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington's decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

Iran’s lawsuit argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US. It also called on the court to order Washington to immediately suspend the measures.

The decisions of the ICJ – which rules on disputes between UN member states – are legally binding and cannot be appealed.

Asked if Iran will ever meet with President Trump or members of his administration, Zarif responded, 'In politics, never say never. But I believe that there is need for a serious change in the administration'.

Speaking about the Iran nuclear deal, which the US pulled out of in May 2018, Zarif reaffirmed his support for the JCPOA.

'We believe it's a deal that is in the interest of the international community,' he said.

'Iran has given the Europeans some time, because they asked us for some time to try to compensate for US departure from the nuclear deal,' he added. 'That means that Iran needs to receive the economic dividends of the deal.'

Zarif was also asked to comment on Bashar Al-Assad's alleged war crimes and use of chemical weapons in Syria's ongoing civil war. 'I condemn anybody using chemical weapons,' he said. 'We condemn any attacks against civilians no matter who does it.'

Both Syria and Russia, a close ally of the Arab country, have already submitted proofs and evidence to the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) showing that terrorists in Idlib are preparing to set up another false-flag chemical attack to frame Damascus and pave the way for the US-led coalition to attack Syrian government troops.

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United States Javad Zarif
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