The US is engaging in “economic terrorism” through sanctions and the “unlawful use of violence or intimidation,” according to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who made the remarks during the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Caracas on Sunday.
“Secretary Pompeo has been very clear. Put pressure on the civilians so that they have to choose if they want to continue to live… I mean, you just Google terrorism, just Google it right now, and this is their definition that the dictionary will give. The unlawful use of violence or intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims,” Zarif said.
Zarif urged other NAM members to refer to US sanctions against Iran as “economic terrorism.”
“This is economic terrorism. We need to use ‘economic terrorism.’ Iran and China are now using ‘economic terrorism’ in order to refer to what the United States is doing. I suggest that all of us decry the unlawful, basically lawless US government from using a terminology that has lawful connotations,” Zarif said.
“This is economic terrorism, pure and simple. We need to repeat it, again and again. And we do not negotiate with terrorists,” Zarif added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also spoke at Sunday’s meeting.
“The US methods towards Venezuela are similar to other places where the US wants regime changes. By one hand, the US holds Venezuela by the throat, introducing immense measure of coercive measures, and then these limitations impede the country’s normal development,” said Ryabkov.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said his country would thanked Russia for “all the cooperation they have given us since 2000 for military equipment, its maintenance and training, because we have to defend our territory.”
“We need to defend Venezuela, we need to be ready with the best technology from Russia in order to defend our country. But Venezuela will never promote a war. Not with the United States, not with any Latin American country, by no means,” Arreaza added.
The Non-Aligned Movement includes two thirds of the world’s countries, who do not traditionally align with or against major power blocs, with its membership largely drawn from the developing world.