Hamid Baeidinejad on Re-Imposed U.S. Sanctions Against Iran

As Iran calls newly re-imposed U.S. sanctions “an act of economic war,” the Iranian Ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, joins the program.

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AMANPOUR: So, tell me how you’re doing it. I read that you’re trying to find private companies to sell your oil to and then they can export it.


AMANPOUR: Is that what’s happening?

BAEIDINEJAD: We have a lot of alternatives because we have had some experiences from the past and we know that, in fact, the difference from this time comparing to the previous time is that the countries are not ready to comply with United States’ requests. So, we have enough leverages to continue our exports.

AMANPOUR: So, you say that but you can see like companies in droves leaving Iran, all sorts of companies that sign deals with Iran came to Iran in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal have bolted, they do not want to get on the wrong side of the United States. I mean, that must be a serious threat to our economy.

BAEIDINEJAD: We are not happy that, in fact, the big companies are living in Iran because of the U.S. pressure. But in the meantime, we have a lot of interest by medium sized and smaller sized companies to work with Iran. And we are in close contact with the European unions that how we can ensure that, in fact, medium sized and small size companies could continue their work with Iran.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. I’m going to play a soundbite from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo where he laid out exactly what Iran has to do in order to get relief from these sanctions.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We must beginning to define what it is that we demand from Iran. Iran must stop enrichment, Iran must end support a Middle East terrorist groups including Lebanese Hezbollah Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria. Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors, many of whom are U.S. allies. You know that list is pretty long, but if you take a look at it these are very basic requirements.


AMANPOUR: Have you stopped any of those things?

BAEIDINEJAD: of course not because, in fact, these are just the allegations and some of them very unbased (ph) accusations that United States is making against Iran. And this is exactly the contradiction that we received in the U.S., that in one way President Trump is inviting a lot of times that, in fact, President Rouhani would meet in. And in other occasions. we see that this kind of contradictory statements that there are conditions to be met by Iran. So, this shows that there is no consistent policy in the United States and they are putting forward conditions that they know better than everybody else that it’s impossible for Iran to be accomplishing

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Governor of California Jerry Brown, Iranian Ambassador to the UK Hamid Baeidinejad, and actress and writer Abbi Jacobson. Walter Isaacson speaks with founder and Executive Director of Code for America Jennifer Pahlka.