Zarif to Trump: Perhaps Iran is also responsible for California wildfires

November 21, 2018 - 21:23

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday mocked U.S. President Donald Trump, saying that "perhaps we're also responsible for the California fires" after Trump earlier in the day attacked Iran in a statement reaffirming his support for Saudi Arabia.

In a tweet, Zarif also called Trump's statement on Saudi Arabia "shameful”. In the statement, the president referred to Iran as “the world’s leading sponsor of terror".

"Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of," Zarif wrote. "Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires because we didn’t help rake the forests— just like the Finns do?"

According to the Hill, Trump issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the United States would continue its "steadfast" relationship with the Saudi kingdom despite the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

Trump used the first paragraph of the statement to go after Iran, saying that the country is responsible for the Yemen civil war and accusing the nation of attempting to destabilize Iraq. He also criticized Iran for supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East. Iran states openly, and with great force, ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Death to Israel!’ Iran is considered ‘the world’s leading sponsor of terror,’” Trump added. “On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would gladly withdraw from Yemen if the Iranians would agree to leave.”

 Raking comment

Finns have been baffled by Trump's comments praising the country for managing its vast forests by raking.

Citing a conversation with his Finnish counterpart, Trump said they spend "a lot of time on raking and cleaning".

But President Sauli Niinisto told a Finnish daily he could not remember talking about raking when the two met, BBC reported on Monday.

"I was with the president of Finland, and he said: 'We have a much different [sic]..., we're a forest nation.' And they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don't have any problem," he added.

But Sauli Niinisto told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper raking had not come up when they talked. "I mentioned [to] him that Finland is a land covered by forests and we also have a good monitoring system and network."

The forestry director of the Finnish Forest Association, Heikki Savolainen, told the newspaper that raking was not usually a forest-management measure.

"Those statements were very interesting. I see raking only in my own yard. It belongs to yards and parks," he said.

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