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Zarif substitutes insult for diplomacy.

Foreign Minister Mohamad-Javad Zarif has shifted to full frontal Trumpianism as he has switched from gentle persuasion to total insult when dealing with Europe.

He was responding to a statement from Britain, France and Germany complaining about Iran's missile program. The trio asked the UN secretary general to declare that Iran's missile program is "inconsistent" with the UN position "calling upon" Iran not to test missiles "designed" to carry nuclear warheads. The Europeans did not ask the secretary general to call the tests a violation of the UN Security Council resolution.

Zarif seemed to be trying to out-do Trumpian rhetoric when he said the three countries comments were nothing but a "desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling [the] bare minimum of their own JCPOA obligations."

Trump loves to call people incompetent, but professional diplomats never use such an insult.

The three European countries did not accuse Iran of "violating" the UN resolution, as many American politicians have done. And Iran is not violating the UN resolution, which only "calls upon" Iran not to work on such missiles but does not forbid it.

But the Islamic Republic does not base its argument on the "calls upon" language of the resolution. Instead, it says it has never tested a missile "designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons." And it doesn't claim its missiles cannot carry nuclear missiles. It simply asserts that it has never "designed" a missile to carry nuclear weapons because it has never sought nuclear weapons.

The three countries asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to say Iran's missile program was "inconsistent" with the UN resolution, far short of saying it violated the UN resolution. But in the Guterres report days later, he simply dodged the issue and did not characterize Iran's missile program in any way.

The 2015 UN resolution, approved by the Security Council as part of its endorsement of the nuclear deal between Iran and the Big Six powers, says, "Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons" for the next eight years.

Iran's latest letter to the UN Security Council, defending its missile program, was very narrowly phrased. It said, "The addition of the phrase "designed to be' to the wording 'capable of delivering nuclear weapons' O was a deliberate modification following lengthy negotiations."

Caption: ZARIF ... Trumpian rhetoric

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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Dec 20, 2019
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