Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CBS News’ Elizabeth Palmer that Iran was committed to strike a deal with the U.S. over its nuclear program. Zarif reconfirmed that he had a phone conversation over the weekend with the Secretary of State John Kerry after the U.S. unexpectedly blacklisted 19 Iranian companies on Thursday for violating sanctions against Iran.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
- Zarif: We are committed to the implementation of the plan of action that we adopted in Geneva but we believe that it takes two to tango.
- Palmer: Some of your bitterest opponents are right here in Iran.
- Zarif: I can tell you that we all have opponents. Secretary Kerry has his opponents, President Obama has his opponents, President Rouhani has his opponents, I have opponents. So let us try to deal with this based on logic, based on equal footing, based on mutual respect and based on our national interests.
- Palmer: Are your opponents here powerful enough to blow this process up
- Zarif: No.
- Palmer: Would you like to see, in your lifetime, a U.S. Embassy reopening in Tehran?
- Zarif: It requires many changes. It requires the United States gaining trust of the Iranian people. The Iranian people don't' trust the United States right now. But whether it's possible -- of course it's possible. Whether I like to see it, of course I like to see normalization of relations. But based on equal footing, based on mutual respect, and based on mutual interests. I believe we have a long way to go. (CBS News, 16 December)
File photo: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (IRNA)