Call for Realistic US Approach

Bahram QasemiBahram Qasemi

Foreign Ministry spokesman called on US officials to try to get at a true understanding of Iran's realities and learn from past mistakes regarding meddling in the country's affairs,

The call came in response and announcement Wednesday by the top US diplomat that Washington's new Iran policy centers on regime change.

"Such interfering remarks in violation of principles of international law are unacceptable and strongly condemned," Bahram Qasemi said in a statement carried by IRNA on Thursday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, commenting at a congressional hearing, said the White House has not yet finalized its Iran policy but it would certainly rely on "elements inside of Iran" to bring about "peaceful transition" of government.

Qasemi warned the US against reverting to the "delusional" regime-change policy, which has been tried for decades by successive US governments against post-revolution Iran but has only brought "defeat and global shame" for Washington. It also fueled a feeling of revulsion toward the US rulers among Iranians.

"The only path ahead for them (US) is to get a clear understanding of ground realities in Iran and the region, put an end to the unhelpful language of intimidation, avoid interfering in Iran's internal affairs and take a realistic, rational and unemotional approach toward the country and the region."

***Mind Your Own  

Tillerson's remarks also drew a retort from his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who wrote on Twitter Friday that US officials would do well to "worry more about saving their own regime" than pushing for a change in Iran, where the last presidential elections in May saw a 73% turnout.

"The 1953 coup debacle [and] the 1979 revolution proved that the Iranian nation is impervious to outside attempts to decide their destiny," Zarif said.

He was referring to a US-led putsch against a democratically-elected government that restored Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to the throne and a revolution 26 years later ousting the US-backed monarch.

Tillerson's comment could be seen as a significant departure from the policy adopted by the Barack Obama administration, which found years of sanctions aimed at changing Iran's behavior unhelpful and opted for dialogue with Tehran to settle the protracted dispute over its nuclear program.

The talks culminated in the 2015 nuclear deal involving the US and five other world powers, which removed international sanctions on Tehran in return for temporary nuclear curbs.

But the landmark agreement has met fierce criticism from President Donald Trump, whose administration's bellicose posture has marked a new nadir in Tehran-Washington estranged relations.

Since taking office in January, Trump has spoken against Iran in unusually harsh terms, slapped new sanctions and taken steps along with its Middle East allies, namely Saudi Arabia, to contain what they call Iran's "regional influence".


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