‘Actions Not Words,’ Iran’s Zarif Urges Trump

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TEHRAN — Iran’s foreign minister says US President Donald Trump has to prove in action whether he seeks to fall into line with the league of anti-Iran domestic and regional officials.

Tweeting on Monday, Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “B-Team’s Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that’s Donald Trump’s intent.”

In late April, Zarif identified the B-Team as US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The US has been pursuing a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran under US Trump, which has Bolton as its top security aide. The policy has seen Washington reinstating draconian economic sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic, and dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber taskforce, and an amphibious assault ship to the region.

Washington has been enlisting the assistance of its regional allies in implementing the policy. Recently, it said that it would target every country potentially buying Iran’s oil as of May 2 with “secondary sanctions.”

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates immediately reported that they would be making up for potential shortages of the Iranian crude.

According to Zarif, the markedly hostile foursome have themselves admitted to targeting the Iranian people with economic terrorism.

Despite leveling serious threats and accusations against Iran, Trump has from time to time rowed back from avowing an intention to either militarily attack Iran or seeking “regime change” in the Islamic Republic.

Bolton, however, has invariably championed warfare against Iran and directed ill-intentioned criticism against the country’s Islamic establishment.

Earlier in the month, The National Interest, an American magazine, suggested that the US president was considering replacing Bolton over his plans to push the United States towards a military conflict with Iran and others.

Bolton “is headed for the exits, having flown too close to the sun on his regime change efforts for Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea,” it reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. A former senior Trump administration official also told the magazine about “hearing that Trump wants him out.”

Zarif separately reiterated absence of whatever intention on the part of Tehran to pursue nuclear arms, reminding how Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the country’s highest authority, has categorically prohibited the weapons.

The Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted overwhelmingly in December 2015 in favor of a resolution that closed the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) case in Iran’s nuclear program.

The IAEA, which held the vote months after the conclusion of the landmark nuclear deal, has also verified Iran’s commitment to the agreement on 14 separate occasions.

“Ayatollah Khamenei long ago said we’re not seeking nuclear weapons—by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them,” the senior diplomat added.

The remarks came amid Washington’s repeated assertions that it would prevent Iran from attaining such a weapon.

“We’re looking for no nuclear weapons,” Trump likewise told a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo earlier on Monday.

 


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