"Sanctions put people under pressure but they will not force a change in foreign policy. The West should understand this. This is not the right way to deal with Iran,” Zarif said in a televised interview on Thursday night.
He stressed that Iran’s foreign policy principles are immutable and are determined by the country’s Constitution and the guidelines of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
"These principles are and will be the basis of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s international relations and they will not change,” he said.
The minister said that the most important parts of the unchangeable principles are "safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity, the nation's independence and freedom as well as serving to improve the public living conditions through establishing relations on an equal footing on the international arena.”
He said the world currently does not have a correct conception of Iran and must correct this, adding that the Iranian nation will neither give up nor compromise on its rights.
Criticizing Washington’s contradictory policies, Zarif said the Zionist lobby in the US pushed the government to impose new sanctions against Iran just as the new Iranian administration was about to take office.
He also expressed hope that the administration of President Hassan Rouhani would play a strong and instrumental role on the international scene with a serene, refined and logical discourse.
In the latest move against Iran, the US House approved a bill on July 31 to impose tougher embargoes on Iran’s oil exports and other economic sectors. The bill must be approved by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama to become law.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.
Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, stressing that as a committed member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.