Breaking: Zarif warns against using Trump’s sanctions as ‘leverage’ against Iran
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says those who promote the notion that US President-elect Joe Biden should use outgoing US President Donald Trump’s array of economic sanctions against Iran as “leverage” in any future interactions with the country must learn from the defeated US president’s past and avoid his “lawless” attitude.
“Those who succumbed to Trump’s lawless bullying for 4 yrs—to protect their skin at OUR people’s expense—now condemn his assault on the rule of law. But still try to use his #EconomicTerrorsm against Iran as ‘leverage,’” Zarif said in a tweet on Friday.
“If you can’t grow a spine, gain foresight—for your own sake,” he added.
The Iranian foreign minister did not refer to any country or individual by name, but European countries, mainly France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, which were and continue to be a party to the Iran deal, had over the course of Trump’s four-year term effectively succumbed to his anti-Iran policies by refusing to uphold their own end of the bargain, citing US pressure.
Less importantly, some US foreign policy columnists, including Thomas L. Friedman and Bret Stephens, have in the past attempted to promote the idea that Biden could use the Trump sanctions as leverage against Iran instead of returning to the Iran deal — as the incoming president has pledged — and terminating those sanctions, which were imposed in violation of the 2015 deal with Iran after Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the agreement.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran deal was not the only time the US president reneged on America’s international commitments. His single term was marked by unilateral pullouts from major international and bilateral accords and organizations.