Zarif Urges US to Change Anti-Iran Tack

Zarif Urges US to Change Anti-Iran Tack Zarif Urges US to Change Anti-Iran Tack

Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif advised US officials, who have leveled a series of anti-Iran tirades in recent days, to replace their hostile behavior toward the Iranian nation with a “realistic and pragmatic” approach.

“What US officials need the most ... is to talk realistically and show wise behavior based on an accurate approach unaffected by pressure of others ... that are trying to fuel Iranophobia and distort realities concerning the region and Iran,” he told IRNA on Thursday.

The Iranian minister was responding to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s bombastic reference to Iran as “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” in a Tuesday letter to US Congress.

Zarif said Iran believes it is in the US interests and that of the global community to contain terrorism whose spread in the Middle East is the result of “wrong calculations, mistakes and imprudence” of the US, adding that Iran will remain committed to battling terrorists to promote global peace and security.

Tillerson told reporters at the State Department on Wednesday that Tehran has been fueling various military conflicts in the Middle East, undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.

“Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world,” Tillerson claimed

The US secretary of state also called the July 2015 nuclear deal a failure and claimed Iran could become another North Korea, a nuclear-armed state.

This is while in his Tuesday letter to Congress, Tillerson declared Iran was meeting its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

His notice to Congress was part of a 90-day process in which the president has to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear accord. It was the first update under the Trump administration.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of the deal led by his National Security Council, which will decide whether suspending sanctions “is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”

Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday that the review would not only look at Tehran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal but also its behavior in the region.

Zarif also urged the US government to stay faithful to the July 2015 nuclear deal, adding that the agreement itself has been the result of a review by former US president, Barack Obama, of a hostile policy that had proven to be wrong many times.

Tillerson’s tough words matched those of US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who said in a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that Iran’s destabilizing influence would have to be overcome to end the conflict in Yemen.

On Thursday, Trump contended that Iran is “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear deal signed under Obama and the deal “shouldn’t have been signed”.

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