Gen. Soleimani: Sanctioning Zarif attests to his ‘deep impact’

August 6, 2019 - 17:36

TEHRAN – Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC Quds Force, says the U.S. sanctions on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif demonstrated the deep impact of the chief diplomat on public opinion in the United States.

“The U.S. act of sanctioning you proved that you, as chief of the country’s foreign policy, have a deep impact on public opinion, especially on the American people with regard to the ignorance of that country’s leaders,” General Soleimani said in a meeting with Zarif on Tuesday, according to Mehr.

The internationally renowned commander further hailed Zarif’s efforts to protect Iran’s national interests, and congratulated him for being the subject of “U.S. wrath and hostility” for his association with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

On July 31, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was imposing sanctions on Zarif for acting on behalf of Ayatollah Khamenei, who is also subject to recently imposed U.S. sanctions.

On Thursday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the U.S. move, describing the measure as a clear sign of the White House’s “frustration”.

Rouhani advisor Tells Trump: No B-Team in Iran

Hessameddin Ashena, a senior advisor to President Rouhani, tweeted a photo of the Soleimani-Zarif meeting, which was indicative of domestic unity against foreign enemy.

“If you want a reconciliation you’d face Dr. Zarif, who is supported by General Soleimani, and if you want a feud you’d face General Soleimani, who is supported by Zarif,” Hessameddin Ashena said in a tweet.

“If you want a reconciliation you’d face Dr. Zarif, who is supported by General Soleimani, and if you want a feud you’d face General Soleimani, who is supported by Zarif,” Ashena said in his tweet.

“The Iranian nation has one leader, one president and one general staff of the armed forces,” he said, adding, “There’s no B-Team in Iran. Rest assured.”

The term “B-Team” was pioneered by Zarif to refer to White House national security advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, all of whom, he suggested, were unified in their anti-Iran agenda.

However, he recently noted that bin Zayed and bin Salman are taking a separate path from that of the others, and therefore the B-Team is “shrinking”.

‘Zarif is concerned with substance’

In another tweet on Tuesday, Ashena said, “FM @JZarif is concerned with substance. So when @realDonaldTrump invited him to the White House for a mere photo op, Zarif refused. Trump’s response was to sanction Zarif. There was a more prudent course that Trump could’ve taken. And he still has the opportunity to do so!”

Hostilities between Tehran and Washington have risen since May 2018 when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal has been attributed to his hatred towards Barack Obama, who was president when the deal was struck.

Since the withdrawal, the U.S. has reimposed punishing sanctions on Iran, including measures aimed at slashing its oil exports to zero, as part of a campaign aimed at pressuring Tehran to negotiate a new nuclear deal.

MH/PA

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