(Audio: Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister, Iran – BBC HARDtalk 6:47 17:01)
THE WHITE HOUSE – That was the Foreign Minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, speaking to BBC HARDtalk on Tuesday, asking for the United States to come back to a complete nuclear disarmament agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Now Republican Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is proposing a solution to the impasse. While golfing Saturday with President Donald Trump at Trump National in Sterling, Va.,, Paul offered to serve as a liaison to Iran and reach out to Foreign Minister Zarif, according to reporting from Politico.
To the chagrin of administration hawks, such as National Security Adviser John Bolton, Trump agreed to Paul’s entreaty.
Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May, 2018 and renewed U.S. economic sanctions on Iran inflicting “maximum pressure” so as to bring them to the negotiating table so as to get an agreement that lasts longer than 15 years and includes a ban on ballistic missile testing.
With photos of rubble-strewn streets from Khorramshahr, Iran in 1980, Zarif tweeted at 3 AM today:
For 8 YEARS, Saddam showered our cities with missiles & bombs provided by East & West.
Meanwhile, NO ONE sold Iran any means of defense.
We had no choice but building our own. Now they complain.
Instead of skirting the issue, US must end arms sales to Saddam’s reincarnations. pic.twitter.com/rGGDk57WaB
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 17, 2019
‘Saddam’s reincarnations’ refers to recent arms sales by the United States to Saudi Arabia.
Zarif has not responded to reporters’ inquiries whether he would sit down and talk with Sen. Paul, but he clarified to the BBC Iran’s negotiating stance:
(Audio: Zarif – ‘We will sell our oil, but we will not sell our dignity.’)
Doug Christian, The White House