WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday that despite threats to pull out of negotiations with the U.S. and other world powers his country is “committed” to ongoing nuclear program negotiations.
Speaking with Elizabeth Palmer on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran will abide by a six-month agreement with world powers even after being “blindsided” by the US announcement on Thursday that sanctions would be extended to a dozen companies and individuals it says were previously avoiding the restrictions.
“We are committed to the implementation of the plan of action we adopted in Geneva, but we believe it takes two to tango,” he said on Sunday.
The US and other world powers were in Vienna on Thursday to discuss “technical” details about the plan to restrict Iran’s nuclear development program. However, the Iranians cut off talks and went back to Tehran when they learned of the expanded sanctions.
Zarif said that the US announcement was the “wrong move” amid a series of delicate and tense international talks.
“I don’t think that it was useful because by the time they conveyed it to us, the announcement had already been made,” Zarif told CBS News, adding that negotiations would continue to “seek clarification about the U.S. intentions,” and move forward with negotiations.
“The process has been derailed. The process has not died,” he said. “We are trying to put it back and to corrected the path and continue the negotiations because I believe there is a lot at stake for everybody.”