RNA - In a tweet on Thursday, Zarif underscored that Trump mistakenly thinks a potential war with Iran will be a short one, rejecting the speculation as an “illusion” and a “misconception,” and adding that the beginner of such war would not be necessarily the party that ends it.
Zarif made the remarks in reaction to US President Donald Trump’s claim that any conflict between the two countries would not last very long.
“Misconceptions endanger peace @realDonaldTrump:” he said, adding, “Short war’ with Iran is an illusion.”
“Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it,” he further said, contesting the US confidence in its ability to control how such a confrontation could proceed.
Speaking to Fox Business on Wednesday about the quality of a hypothetical American war against Iran, Trump had alleged, "I'm not talking boots on the ground. I'm just saying if something would happen, it wouldn't last very long."
Zarif also pointed to a tweet posted by Trump on Tuesday, in which he had said the Islamic Republic would be met with “obliteration” if it ever attacked “anything American.”
The top Iranian diplomat pointed to the implications of such a threat, saying that the US president's menace amounted to genocide. "Obliteration"=genocide=war crime,” he wrote in his tweet.
Zarif had told CNN earlier that the US was “incapable” of acting on such threats, that Trump was “certainly wrong” in making the claim, and that Washington was not in any position to “obliterate” Iran, unless it resorted to using “prohibited weapons.”
In another part of his tweet, Iran's top diplomat noted that despite US claims that it is imposing sanctions on Iran as an alternative to war, those sanctions actually amount to a full-fledged economic war against the Islamic Republic.
“Sanctions aren't alternative to war; they ARE war,” Zarif said.
He finally reiterated an assertion repeatedly made by Iranian authorities, including himself, that Washington cannot expect dialogue as a foreseeable outcome if it was holding on to its pressures and threats against the country.
“Negotiations and threats are mutually exclusive,” he tweeted.
Trump’s administration has been leading a signature policy of “maximum pressure” vis-à-vis Iran. The approach has seen Washington returning its sanctions on the Islamic Republic, ramping up its warlike rhetoric while engaging in dangerous regional military buildup.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the new sanctions of the White House against Foreign Minister Zarif exposed that Donald Trump’s administration was from the very beginning lying about its willingness for holding negotiations with Tehran.
“It is clear that you are lying,” President Rouhani said to US officials, during a meeting with the health ministry officials in Tehran.
“You’d better wait to let the world remain doubtful whether you were honest or dishonest [in your call for unconditional talks with Iran],” the Iranian head of government said, referring to Trump and Pompeo’s call for talks with Iran made respectively in Japan and Switzerland.
Rouhani underlined that now there is no doubt left that the Trump administration is lying about its readiness for direct negotiations with Iran.
He referred to long direct talks between Zarif and John Kerry, the then US Secretary of State, in 2015 to make the point that direct talks between Iran and the US was possible if Washington respected its opposing side.
Rouhani reiterated that the US lack of commitments to the nuclear agreement of 2015, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Palm of Action, at first and then its violation of the terms of the deal prevented the chance for further negotiations between the two countries.
Saying that the long talks between Zarif and Kerry broke the records as they negotiated for 17 days in the holy month of Ramadan, Rouhani added that it was unprecedented in the history of the two countries after the victory of the Islamic Revolution that the top diplomats of the two countries talk for that length of time.
According to Fars News Agancy, the Iranian head of government concluded that the case of Zarif-Kerry talks proved that Iran was ready for negotiations, and even the talks could yield results as in the case of the nuclear deal, reiterating that it was the US who stopped the course of negotiations between the two countries.
He then reminded the White House that it had formerly stated its opposition to the government of Iran versus the people of Iran, asking Trump, “How do you now call the Iranian nation a terrorist nation?”