Previously, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook underscored that Washington’s policy of maximum economic pressure on Iran would prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons, leaving the country with a choice of either coming to the negotiating table or facing “economic collapse”.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has addressed United States officials in a tweet, saying that Washington was facing a choice of either admitting defeat and beginning to show respect for the Iranian nation, or “further humiliating itself”.
The tweet makes mention of the US maximum pressure campaign on Iran, vowing to respond to it with “maximum resistance, stiffening resolve and reliance on the national capabilities”.
‘Maximum Pressure’ Policy
The tweeted remarks were in response to Wednesday’s comments, made by US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, who claimed US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy was offering Tehran the options of either negotiating with Washington or dealing with what he assessed as “economic collapse” as fallout from US sanctions.
During a conference call at a State Department special briefing on 27 May, Hook said:
“Because of our pressure, Iran’s leaders are facing a decision: Either negotiate with us or manage economic collapse.”
Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington was ending the last remaining sanctions waivers in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying that Tehran’s alleged “nuclear brinkmanship” in breaching some of its nuclear commitments did not justify renewing the waivers.
Referring to the move, Hook said:
“We are taking these actions now because the regime continues to use its nuclear programme to extort the international community…The Iranian regime’s threats are designed to intimidate nations into accepting Iran’s usual violent behaviour for fear of something worse. We refuse to play by Iran’s rules.”
On 28 May the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran responded by saying Washington had taken the move in a bid “to distract public opinion from its continued defeats at the hands of Iran.”
“Ending waivers for nuclear cooperation with Iran…has effectively no impact on Iran’s continued work” on what the Islamic republic insists is a purely civilian nuclear energy programme, the spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Behruz Kamalvandi, said in a statement published on the agency’s website.
The waivers were some of the final remnants of the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which US President Donald Trump scrapped unilaterally in May 2018.
In the wake of that move, Washington has launched a so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran, slapping sanctions on the country.
The Islamic Republic responded to the sanctions and the failure of JCPOA signatories – specifically Britain, France and Germany – to protect the deal by gradually suspending its own commitments to the nuclear accord, while repeatedly announcing readiness to resume fulfilling its commitments if sanctions are removed.