Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Answers US Accusations During NYC Speech

Last night the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif, gave a speech on Iranian foreign policy at Asia Society in New York. What was discussed was the tense situation between Iran and the United States with regards to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Currently, the US is accusing Iran of violating the agreement. Iran denies the accusation citing an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that confirms their statement. Iran accuses the US of not living up to the letter of the Iran nuclear agreement.

As it stands, US president Donald Trump insists that Iran has not lived up to the agreement, claiming that Iran has begun development of nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the claim. A recent inspection by the IAEA determined that there were no violations of the agreement on the part of Iran. Despite this report, the US continues to demand a new JCPOA deal. Zarif says that no new deal is needed since Iran has lived up to their obligations.

During the speech, the speaker made several accusations of Iran. Many of them were blatant falsehoods. One of them was the accusation that Iran was interfering in Syria. Zarif responded by saying that Iran was interested in defeating Daesh (ISIS) in the country. It is in fact, the US who is interfering in the country. Terrorist forces which have attacked the legitimate government of Bashar Al-Assad were, and are, funded and controlled by the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. To even accuse Iran of interference is nothing short of an astounding hypocrisy.

The same accusation was made with regards to Yemen. Iran has done nothing but try to help the Yemeni people survive a brutal year’s long war with Saudi Arabia. What little help Iran has been able to provide has been largely blockaded by the oil-rich Gulf state. The situation in the country grows more desperate by the day with disease becoming almost as large a problem as combat casualties. In six months over 2,000 people have died from cholera. The UN called the situation the “world’s worst cholera outbreak” in June. As if this were not enough, civilians are deliberately targeted by the Saudis as the US stands by and remains silent about the humanitarian disaster being perpetrated by one of its closest allies.

During the speech, Zarif blasted the travel ban that is being sought against Iran and seven other countries. The move is obviously designed to harm the economy of Iran, but how successful it will be remains to be seen. But, Zarif made an important observation about who receives a travel ban and who does not. He noted that Iran has done nothing to the US which would facilitate such an action. However, the 9/11 highjackers came from Saudi Arabia, and Saudi money has been found linked to the terrorist attack itself. Despite this tremendous act, Saudi Arabia does not find itself with a travel ban. Iran has done nothing, while Suadi Arabia has done great harm to the US.

While many issues were discussed, the main purpose of the speech was to respond to the calls for a new JCPOA.

The question some are asking is: if Iran has lived up to the agreement, why is the US so insistent upon a new deal? The answer lies, in the mentality of Donald Trump. Since his election, he has failed to keep his campaign promises and is beginning to look like a lame duck president. He is halted on many fronts by situations that he has not been able to deliver on. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has refused to budge on the issue if its nuclear and ballistic missile development. Trump may be pushing the issue with Iran so hard because he sees a chance to save face.

Some have said that the original JCPOA agreement signed by Obama did not accomplish the goal of harming Iran. The stated goal is to prevent the development of nuclear weapons, but the deal is also designed to harm the Iranian economy. This effort has not been as effective as many had hoped. While the Iranian economy has contracted the last several years, they are not in the terribly weakened position US imperialism was hoping for.

Trump has demonstrated a desire to out-do or undo everything the previous president Barack Obama has done. The previous JCPOA agreement was made under the Obama administration. Trump, it seems, feels that he can obtain a better, more harmful agreement with Iran. This move can only be facilitated by creating a new agreement. To do that, he must first invalidate the old one. This can most easily be accomplished by claiming that Iran has violated the current one.

Such is the dishonesty of the US. The Trump administration is determined to falsely claim Iran has violated the agreement in order to make them look dishonest. What the US is seeking is a new deal that would place a great deal more harm upon the country. US imperialism will not rest until it has placed Iran under its thumb and exploited its energy resources.

It is the opinion of this author that Iran should reject the wrongful JCPOA and chart its own course of independence free from the tyranny of US imperialism.

Video of the speech can be found here: