Government: Zarif is a media outlet which is being silenced

August 5, 2019 - 21:6

TEHRAN – Government spokesman Ali Rabiei has highlighted the role Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plays against U.S. hostilities toward Iran, saying Zarif himself is a media outlet and was targeted with U.S. sanctions for the important messages he passes on to the world.

“I’m glad to say that Zarif himself is a media [outlet], a producer of content and a message transfer tool,” Rabiei said on Monday in an opening to Zarif’s press conference ahead of Journalist Day.

He further pointed to the U.S. sanctions on Zarif, saying the White House has never been as hostile as it is today toward the Iranian nation and government, Mehr reported.

The spokesman deplored Washington for trying to silence the chief Iranian diplomat.

Rabiei has also said the Americans have deprived themselves of dialogue by sanctioning Zarif.

“Zarif is in charge of the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy … By sanctioning Zarif, they (Americans) deprived themselves of dialogue,” Rabiei told a press briefing on Sunday.

He said it is utterly absurd that the U.S., which claims to be an advocate of dialogue, has sanctioned Iran’s foreign minister right after inviting him to hold talks at the White House.

“If this action is not ridiculous then what is it?” he added.

On Wednesday, the U.S. government announced imposition of sanctions against Zarif, a move which was interpreted as a total rejection of diplomacy repeatedly claimed by the Trump administration.

The announcement has been met with widespread condemnation in Iran and throughout the world, with President Hassan Rouhani describing it as a “childish behavior” and an act out of fear.

Zarif himself has scoffed at the act, saying he and his family do not have any “property or interests outside of Iran.”

MH/PA

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