Zarif says Trump advisors made a ‘dumb bet’ by inciting him to quit JCPOA

June 5, 2020 - 20:13

TEHRAN - Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s advisors, that now most of them have been dismissed, made a “dumb bet” by encouraging him to quit the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as JCPOA.

“Your advisors—most fired by now—made a dumb bet,” Zarif tweeted.

Zarif added, “Up to you to decide *when* you want to fix it.” 

The Iranian foreign minister told Trump that the JCPOA was working when he entered the White House. 

“And we had a deal when you entered office. Iran & other JCPOA participants never left the table,” Zarif stated.

Zarif’s comments came as response to a Trump’s tweet in which he thanked Iran for releasing U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, proposing talks.

“So great to have Michael home. Just arrived. Very exciting. Thank you to Iran. Don’t wait until after U.S. Election to make the Big deal,” Trump said in his tweet on Friday.

In his Wednesday tweet, Zarif said Iran and other signatories to the JCPOA never left the negotiating table and even the remaining parties sent humanitarian aid to Iran to fight the coronavirus pandemic despite efforts by Trump’s “subordinates”.

“We achieved humanitarian swap *despite* your subordinates’ efforts, @realDonaldTrump,” Zarif pointed out.

Tehran has confirmed a prisoner swap between Iran and the United States.

“Pleased that Dr. Majid Taheri and Mr. White will soon be joining their families,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday. “Prof. Sirous Asgari was happily reunited with his family on Weds.”

“This can happen for all prisoners,” Zarif said, adding, “No need for cherry-picking. Iranian hostages held in—and on behalf of—the US should come home.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement on Thursday that White, who had been in jail in Iran, was released after being granted Islamic mercy for his crimes.

White was released from jail given the time served and in respect of human rights considerations, and left Iran on Thursday, Mousavi said.

Zarif said in December that Tehran was ready for a full prisoner exchange with the United States, tweeting: “The ball is in the US’ court”.

Switzerland which takes care of the U.S. interests in Iran has played a role in the recent prisoner exchange. It has announced that that it is ready to act as a facilitator for more prisoner swaps.

NA/PA

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