- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Iran’s top diplomat categorically ruled out any hopes of a Singapore-like summit with the Trump administration, effectively shutting the door on any bilateral engagement between Washington and Tehran for the time being.

Iranian Foreign Minster Mohammed Zarif told the BBC that Iranian leaders have little faith that any engagement with the Trump White House would result in hollow promises, rather than tangible progress in U.S-Iranian relations. Any effort to replicate the landmark summit between Mr. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held in Singapore earlier this year, would result in “a photo opportunity and a two-page document,” Mr. Zarif said.

He took another thinly veiled shot at the Trump White House’s claims of a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea, saying legitimate diplomacy is “not about falling in love” with the parties involved, but being able to produce real policy outcomes, like the historic Obama-era nuclear deal reached with Tehran in 2015. The comment was in direct reference to Mr. Trump’s statement that he and Mr. Kim “fell in love” during the Singapore summit.

“The nuclear deal is not a personal deal between myself and [former Secretary of State] John Kerry or President Obama and [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani,” Mr. Zarif said. “It is an international agreement between seven countries and the European Union.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Trump opted not to ratify the Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehenisve Plan of Action, or JCPOA, and to reinstate harsh economic sanctions designed to deter Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

The move was roundly criticized by EU members and U.S partners to the pact, who said Washington was abandoning the best chance for the West to monitor Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.

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