Zarif lambasts Pompeo for Israeli ‘criteria’ in U.S. foreign policy

August 27, 2020 - 2:10

TEHRAN - In tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized his American counterpart for reportedly insisting on a normalization deal between Israel and Sudan in exchange for removing the latter from a U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list. 

“Thanks to @SecPompeo, we now know criteria for a country to be removed from—or included in—State Dept's terror list: Relations with Israel. World's No.1 nuclear threat, rights violator, illegal occupier & terror entity. How can the world STILL take US foreign policy seriously?” tweeted Iran’s Chief diplomat. 

Zarif was referring to a Reuters report suggesting that U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asked Sudan to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel in exchange for the U.S. removing it from its terrorism list. 

Pompeo arrived in the Sudanese capital city of Khartoum on 25 August directly from Israel on what he said was the first official non-stop flight between Sudan and Israel. He met with high-ranking Sudanese officials including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Sovereign Council Chair General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“Pleased to meet with Sudanese Prime Minister @SudanPMHamdok today in Khartoum to underscore U.S. support for Sudan’s democratic transition and discuss Sudan’s commitment to deepening the Sudan-Israel relationship,” Pompeo tweeted after he met with Hamdok.

Citing Sudanese government spokesman Faisal Salih, Reuters reported that Hamdok told Pompeo that his transitional government “does not have a mandate ... to decide on normalization with Israel”, and the matter would be decided after all Sudan’s interim bodies had been established.

“The Prime Minister called on the U.S. administration to separate the process of removing Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism and the issue of normalization with Israel,” Saleh said.


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