August 1, 2019
The Trump administration imposed sanction on Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif last night – as if the present intensified sanctions – primary on Iran and secondary on, in principle, everybody else, were not enough already. Here is AlJazeera’s story which also includes Iranian President Rouhani’s and Zarif’s own – witty – response to the move.
The Trump administration thereby continues its one-sided provocative tension escalation making it more and more difficult to envision a peaceful solution to what is, in a larger perspective, harassment of major regional power and a 7000year-old civilisation since the CIA-led coup d’etat against the first democratically elected Iran Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953.
Zarif – whom I happen to have had the honour of saying hello to at a conference in Tehran and whose work I have followed over several years – is not only one of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable foreign ministers, he is also a 1st class diplomat and negotiator. He is respected for his intellectual approach, way of arguing his points and for his forthcoming – often smiling – dialogue style.
As can be seen on the link provided above, Zarif is educated in the US and has lived there as a student, researcher and diplomat for close to three decades.
No Iranian knows the US better and has done more to maintain a dialogue. In addition, he is considered the most popular political figure in Iran by his people.
And – as anyone who has followed the process – he was on the hugely complex negotiation process that led up to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran (JCPOA), on the one side and the 5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council + Germany.
Were the US serious about finding a negotiated solution and de-escalate the increasing tension, Zarif would be the person – par excellence – to talk
If it wasn’t for its military strength and exceptionalism, US foreign policy should be seen as laughable – worthy at best of a stuffed shirt banana republic. John Bolton, the US presidential security adviser who constantly seems to work to make the world less secure takes the opportunity to say that this “signalled” also that the US no longer consider Zarif a legitimate representative of his country (!)
The whole thing is, of course, nothing but an ineffectual gesture. Zarif and his family has, he states, no property or interests outside Iran. So precisely as a signal, it is pathetic and indicative of panic and chaos in the US foreign policy administration.
Zarif will survive – even be strengthened by this step. And the dangerous and mean US Iran policy will be exposed to everyone who is free enough to see and think.
The real concern about these sanctions is that they are hitting the innocent, the sick, the handicapped, the old and virtually all Iranian citizens. Therefore, please read these two articles about the humanitarian effects of the sanctions on Iranian civil society. First this July 30, 2019, Associated Press report from Tehran. Secondly, this conversation with US-based, Iranian professor emeritus, Sasan Fayazmanesh.
Iran’s PressTV asked me today to comment on this counterproductive move which I gladly do.