Americans have bitten off more than they could chew, Tehran says

August 8, 2020 - 15:30

TEHRAN – The Americans have bitten off more than they could chew when it comes to their Iran policy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Saturday.

“No difference between John Bolton, Brian Hook, or Elliott Abrams; when it comes to the US #Iran policy, American officials have been bitten off more than they could chew,” Mousavi wrote in a tweet.

“Same applies to Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump AND their successors,” he added.

It came after the Trump administration’s lead diplomat on Iran, Brian Hook, announced his resignation.

Hook will be replaced by Elliott Abrams, who will combine the Iran special representative job with his current role as special envoy for Venezuela.

Hook, until now a rare survivor at the top levels of the State Department in the maelstrom of the Trump era, did not give a reason for his resignation, claiming the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran had been “very successful”.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Hook’s departure and referred to him as “a trusted adviser to me and a good friend”, but did not give any reasons for his departure.

Pompeo added that Hook had “achieved historic results countering the Iranian regime”.

Hook was a central figure in implementing the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” policy on Iran, which followed Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

 Shamkhani: Pompeo may have to pack his bags too

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), also responded to the news, saying Pompeo may have to face the same fate.

“The goal of #MaximumPressure strategy was reduced from regime change to prevent #Iran from becoming rich!” Shamkhani tweeted earlier on Saturday.

He added, “Brian, like John, failed and left the White House. Maybe Mike will have to pack his bags as well, before Donald leaves.”

Hook’s departure comes while the United States is ramping up efforts to push for the extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran.

Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that the United States has circulated a new resolution to the UN Security Council members, which asks UN member states to stop all sales of weapons to and from Iran.

It also asks UN member states to refrain from providing any “technical training, financial resources or services, advice, other services or assistance related to the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of arms” to Iran.

According to Bloomberg News, the new resolution is almost identical to one the U.S. circulated in June, signaling the Trump administration is unwilling to make changes suggested by allies and opponents on the Security Council.

The United States has stepped up calls for the extension of the UN arms embargo on Iran since April.

In June, the United States introduced a draft resolution at the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires in mid-October. Russia and China have already voiced their opposition to the draft resolution.

Last month, Mousavi said Iran has told all members of the UN Security Council and its friends that the extension of the arms embargo would be “unacceptable”.

The spokesman said Iranian officials do not think other countries would succumb to the U.S. bullying.

MH/PA

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