Iran foreign minister warns Trump to back off threatsMay 20, 2019
Iran’s foreign minister on Monday dismissed President Trump’s tweeted “genocidal taunts,” warning him not to threaten the Islamic Republic’s existence.
With tensions mounting between the two countries, Trump tweeted Sunday: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”
The president’s ominous message came after reports that a rocket was fired into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone less than a mile from the US Embassy in Iraq.
A rocket launcher was discovered in eastern Baghdad, an area that is home to Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
In his broadside Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Trump to look at history.
“Goaded by #B_Team, @realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone,” Zarif said in a tweet.
His “B Team” reference was to national security adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
“#EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran,’” he added. “#NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
The foreign minister also noted that Trump “rightly deplores ‘military-industrial complex’ pushing US to #ForeverWars.”
He added: “But allowing #B_Team to trash diplomacy & abet war crimes—by milking despotic butchers via massive arms sales—achieves nothing but empowering that same complex.”
The tensions between Washington and Tehran — which took a nosedive when Trump pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran a year ago and imposed tough sanctions — have led to concerns that Iraq, where Iranian forces and about 5,000 US troops are stationed, could become entangled in the standoff.
Tensions have further escalated this month with the US announcing additional economic measures against Tehran, before deploying a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over unspecified Iranian “threats.”
Iran just announced it would begin backing away from terms of the nuclear accord, setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.
In an interview aired Sunday on the Fox News Channel, Trump called the nuclear deal a “horror show.”
“I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can’t be threatening us,” he said.
UN inspectors have repeatedly certified that Iran was in compliance with the accord, which had kept Tehran from being able to acquire enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.
Trump’s tweet marked a shift in tone after his recent attempts to downplay the possibility of a military conflict with Iran.
Last week, when asked by reporters if the US was going to war with Iran, he said: “I hope not.”
With Post wires
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