Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Thursday issued a strongly-worded statement in reaction to the latest allegations by the Trump administration about Iran’s destabilizing role in the Middle East and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “The Islamic Republic of Iran entered the JCPOA (Jointed Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iran nuclear deal) with the view that it would be prudent way to address shared concerns and achieve shared objectives specifically related to the nuclear issue, without entering into other contentious issues, including the nefarious activities of the U.S. Government, particularly its many ongoing disastrous military adventures and interventions far away from its shores that have provided fertile ground for the growth of extremism and terrorism,” Zarif wrote in the letter.
He also accused the United States and its allies of supporting terrorism in Syria and the broader region. “Nonetheless, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains committed to its obligations under the JCPOA, and expects other signatories to this multilateral agreement, enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2231, to fully adhere to their international commitments. The tired and repetitive accusations of the U.S. Government against Iran cannot mask its own admission that the Islamic Republic of Iranis in full compliance with the JCPOA, which should obligate the U.S. Government to change course and fulfill its own commitments."
Comment: The Iranian foreign minister’s reaction came after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilizing more than one country at a time.” He continued: "Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel."
Tillerson’s remarks on Iran also comes at a time when tension between U.S. and North Korea is escalating. Many critics of the Iran deal argue that it gives Iran a patient pathway to the nuclear bomb similar to North Korea, while proponents of the deal say the accord is the only way to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. The top American diplomat, however, sided with the critics on Wednesday as he cautioned that if Iran is unchecked, it "has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea." He further noted that the Trump administration was reviewing U.S. policy toward Iran, including the nuclear deal.
Although relations between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated significantly since President Donald Trump took office three months ago, both sides have so far refrained from walking away from the nuclear agreement. But Tehran’s ballistic missile program and support for regional militant and terrorist groups – coupled with a tougher Iran policy outlined by the Trump administration – are increasingly threatening the future of the deal.