Iran’s FM Trades Barbs with US President
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded in kind on Thursday to a tweet from the day before by US President Donald Trump, who warned that Iran would “pay a very heavy price, indeed!” if it or any of its proxies attacked American troops in Iraq. Replying on Twitter, Zarif wrote: “Don’t be misled by usual warmongers, AGAIN, @realDonaldTrump: Iran has FRIENDS: No one can have MILLIONS of proxies. Unlike the US – which surreptitiously lies, cheats & assassinates – Iran only acts in self-defense.” Tehran has been willing to join the war of words for some time now. Last September, Zarif told CNN that an American attack on Iran would result in an “all-out war.” More recently, top officials in the Islamic Republic have been using the term “medical terrorism” to describe crippling US economic sanctions. The sanctions were reinstated in 2018 when Trump pulled Washington out of a multi-lateral accord aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and officials in Tehran have said on numerous occasions that the measures are severely hampering the country’s efforts to tamp down the coronavirus epidemic.