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Iranians' Choice? 'No, Mr. Foreign Minister, We Didn't Choose This Path'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif: "We have ourselves chosen to live in a different way."

Iran's foreign minister is being mocked after saying on state TV that Iranians are responsible for choosing the country's path.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was responding to a question about economic hardships facing Iranians in the context of recently reimposed U.S. sanctions and a plunging national currency that has increased the cost of many goods.

Iran has seen sporadic protests since late last year over rising prices, unemployment, and frustration with the country's clerically dominated leadership.

“Maybe our young generation tells themselves that there are so many countries in the world that enjoy good ties with other countries and [think those countries'] people don't face pressure," the moderator asked Zarif in an apparent allusion to sanctions, saying he was asking questions on behalf of young people, on August 26. But when it comes to Iran, the moderator added, the country's foreign ministers frequently cite "international pressure."

Zarif, who played a key role in negotiating Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, responded by suggesting that the reason is that "we have ourselves chosen to live in a different way."

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