Larijani lauds Zarif as a capable and hard-working diplomat

August 5, 2019

TEHRAN – To show strong support for Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who has been sanctioned by the Trump administration, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Zarif on Monday describing him as a “symbol of a seasoned and hard-working” diplomat.

Larijani, who once was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator with the West in the capacity of Supreme National Security Council secretary, said Zarif has brought many achievements for the Islamic republic system through his diplomatic competence.

“You, as chief of the country’s foreign policy, defend the national interests with determination and perseverance. Enemies have sanctioned you because your efforts at the international arena have been effective,” Larijani remarked.

For his part, Zarif said, “We will defend and support national interests and the people’s rights at the international arena will all power.”

---‘Sanctioning Zarif shows U.S. frustration’

Ebrahim Raeisi, the Judiciary chief, said on Monday that sanctioning Zarif shows frustration at the White House. 

Downplaying the U.S. moves against the country and its latest sanctions against Zarif, the top judge said “the future is bright”.

In separate statements on Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury and State Department announced imposition of sanctions against Zarif, a move which was interpreted as a total rejection of diplomacy repeatedly claimed by the Trump administration.

At home there was a huge torrent of support for Foreign Minister Zarif who is liked by the people and even his moderate opponents. They all consider him a highly qualified diplomat and treasure him for his rationality.

In a press conference at the Foreign Ministry on Monday, Zarif said sanctions against foreign minister is synonymous with “defeat in diplomacy”.

President Rouhani has described the U.S. move against his foreign minister as a “childish behavior”.

In a televised address, Rouhani said, “They were claiming ever day ‘we want to talk, with no preconditions’ ... and then they sanction the foreign minister.”

He also said the U.S. is “afraid” of Zarif.

“They are afraid of our foreign minister’s interviews. It is completely clear that the foundations of the White House have been shaken by the words and logic of an informed, devoted and diplomatic individual,” the president pointed out.

Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri lauded Zarif’s diplomatic capability, saying, “Even wise enemies are aware of his intellect, skill, his rare competence in negotiations, creating opportunities, and avoiding conflict and war.”

“Sanctioning Zarif is another reason for (U.S.) hypocrisy and lying in calling for negotiations,” Jahangiri wrote on his Twitter account.

On Wednesday, Zarif responded to sanctions on himself in a tweet.

“The US’ reason for designating me is that I am Iran’s ‘primary spokesperson around the world’

Is the truth really that painful?” Zarif wrote.

Zarif said the move shows that Donald Trump and his team consider him as a “huge threat” to their plots against Iran.

“Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda.”

Zarif added, “It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran.”

Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hossein-Ali Amiri said on Saturday that Zarif is “the Iranian people’s voice” and sanctioning him shows Washington’s weakness.

“Sanctioning the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the U.S. indicates that all the enemy’s plots have been foiled. And the U.S. does not intend to sanction Zarif but does not want the world hear the Iranian people’s voice,” he told reporters.

In an article published by LobeLog on Thursday, Robert E. Hunter, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, said that Washington’s act in imposing sanctions on Zarif will undermine U.S. diplomatic credibility.

NA/PA

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