Drift and Danger Define Donald Trump’s Behavior

Drift and Danger Define Donald Trump’s Behavior Drift and Danger Define Donald Trump’s Behavior

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has renewed a call for a dialogue with Iran’s neighbors, saying the region cannot entrust the security of the Middle East to the "dangerous" and "erratic behavior" of US President Donald Trump.

Regional neighbors can reach a "non-aggression" pact and solve their problems among themselves "without outside interference and patronage", Zarif said in an article published on Thursday by the Iranian Mehr News Agency.

Zarif issued the statement in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's speech last month laying out 12 preconditions for Iran to fulfill in order to achieve a new nuclear treaty with the US.

"Impulsive and illogical decisions and behavior of the US president...have already surfaced as the main features of the decision-making process in Washington over the past 17 months," he said.

In his speech in May, Pompeo demanded, among other things, that Iran end its ballistic missile program and withdraw its troops from Syria, or else face "the strongest sanctions in history". He also said that Iran must halt all its nuclear enrichment program, which Tehran insists is within the limits of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

  Contempt for Int’l Law

On Thursday, Zarif responded with his own list of 15 demands for the US to abide by, including putting an end to US "intervention in Iran's internal affairs" and its involvement in the war in Yemen.

He also said that the US must "compel" Israel to denuclearize and stop "gross violations of human rights" against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

Zarif described Pompeo's speech as "baseless and insulting", adding that he "seriously" doubted the top American diplomat's knowledge of Iran's history and "struggle for independence".

Zarif said the Trump administration's decisions to withdraw from international deals including the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal have inflicted "considerable damage to multilateralism, and the prospects for resolving disputes through diplomacy".

"Contempt for international law and attempts to undermine the rule of law in international relations have been among the main features of the current US administration’s foreign policy," he wrote, adding that the US is becoming "increasingly isolated internationally".

Zarif said given Trump's "erratic behavior", Iran cannot expect to negotiate with a US administration that could "change its mind in six months".

“How can the US government expect to be viewed or treated as a reliable party to another round of serious negotiations following its unilateral and unwarranted withdrawal from an agreement which was the result of hundreds of hours of arduous bilateral and multilateral negotiations, in which the highest ranking US foreign affairs official participated, and which was submitted to the Security Council by the US and adopted unanimously as an international commitment under Article 25 of the Charter?” Zarif asked.

“Mr. Pompeo seems to have forgotten that it is the US government that needs to prove the credibility of its words and legitimacy of its signature, and not the party that has complied with its international obligations and sticks to its word,” the foreign minister noted.


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