Iranian Ambassador to India, Ali Chegini, blasted the United States for imposing sanctions on Tehran and called it as "economic terrorism" which he said was "worse than Pulwama terror attack" which claimed the lives of over 40 Indian paramilitary personnel.
"Why did you impose sanctions on my country? When you put sanctions on the banking system how will I buy medicines for my country? This is terrorism, economic terrorism that is worse than terrorists coming in, just like the Pulwama terror attack, and killing. This act of economic terrorism is taking a toll on poor people, sick people in hospitals across the country," the envoy said at an event in New Delhi.
The ambassador further stated that Iran is ready for negotiations with the US but there should be mutual respect and sanctions should be removed.
"You remove the sanction we come back. We never left the table. We are there if you come back, otherwise by force, or by wrong information. And due to the wrong pressure on the Iranian people, the country will not have further negotiations. This is not what you call negotiations. This is coming and accepting the order," he said
The envoy also slammed US President Donald Trump for calling Iran a terrorist nation. "If you say Iran is a terrorist nation this is a phrase of Trump. How can you say Iran is a terrorist nation? Did Iranians commit any terrorist attack in history? My people will be angry. If you respect, you will get respect otherwise we will react and it is our right," Mr Chegini added.
He stressed that the security of the Persian Gulf is Iran's responsibility. "We never went to the United States. They came here so we had to shoot down their drone and their craft," the envoy said.
"We have the right to export oil to any country. The US can't extend laws to other countries. Freedom of shipping should be respected," he added.
Mr Chegini said India and Iran are having good economic relations and he expects bilateral trade to grow and reach a target of $50 billion.
He admitted that the work on Chabahar Port is moving at a slow pace and expressed hope that it will be completed soon. He termed the project as a golden gate that will connect India to the Mediterranean and urged Indian companies to invest more in the Port.
Mr Chegini refused to comment on the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
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