By Mohammad Homaeefar

Iran to neighbors: 'We'll remain here forever'

November 9, 2020 - 14:48

TEHRAN — Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has advised neighboring countries not to bet on outsiders to provide their security, underlining that Iran is ready to cooperate with them to build a better future for all.

“A sincere message to our neighbors: Trump’s gone in 70 days, but we'll remain here forever,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter page on Monday morning.

“Betting on outsiders to provide security is never a good gamble. We extend our hand to our neighbors for dialog to resolve differences,” he said.

“Only together can we build a better future for all,” he added.

It came after the historic defeat of incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump in the November 3 presidential election against Democratic candidate Joe Biden. So far, Trump has refused to concede, claiming extensive voter fraud in the swing states that decided the election’s outcome.

“We do not seek war, but we uphold the rights of our nation powerfully,” says Mohsen Rezaee, a former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). Zarif’s remarks partly referred to the U.S.-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and Iran’s two southern neighbors – the UAE and Bahrain which seek animosity with Iran. Observers say the normalization deals were foisted upon the two Arab countries by Trump so as to boost his chances of re-election.

Since Trump assumed office in January 2017, Israel, Saudi Arabia and certain Arab countries have pushed for a harsher U.S. foreign policy against Iran. They supported Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal – which was clinched under Barack Obama – and cheered the U.S. president for his subsequent sanctions on Tehran that caused more than two hundred billions of dollars in losses.

The nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, and also the European Union. Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA was deplored by all other parties to the deal.

In the meantime, hopes to revitalize the nuclear deal were raised after Biden was elected president. Biden has promised to “change course” and rejoin the accord “as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” if Iran returns to compliance with it.

On May 8, 2019, exactly one year after Trump’s withdrawal, Iran began to gradually reduce its nuclear commitments according to the JCPOA, citing the other parties’ failure to secure its interests under the deal. However, Tehran has repeatedly said that it will return to its commitments if the other parties can protect its interests against the United States’ “toughest ever” sanctions.

Seeing a probable end to the hawkish policies of the White House against Tehran, the Israeli regime warned last week that there could be an Israel-Iran war if Biden wins the U.S. presidency. 

“Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” Israeli Settlements Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said on Wednesday, reported The Jerusalem Post. “I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”

On the other side, Iran has in recent days urged Biden to abandon the disastrous, lawless bullying of the outgoing regime, and to respect multilateralism and rule of law. 

In a tweet on Sunday, Zarif said, “The world is watching whether the new leaders will abandon disastrous lawless bullying of outgoing regime—and accept multilateralism, cooperation & respect for law.”

“Deeds matter most,” he wrote, adding, “Iran's record: dignity, interest & responsible diplomacy.”

President Hassan Rouhani also urged the U.S. president-elect to make up for Trump’s mistakes, and return the U.S. to international laws and treaties.

Maximum pressure failed and so have to outlaw charlatans behind it, says Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.“Now, an opportunity has opened up for the next U.S. administration to make up for the past mistakes and return to abiding by international commitments through respecting international regulations,” Rouhani said in remarks on Sunday.

The president said the U.S. government’s destructive policies over the last three years were not only rejected by the people of the world but were also opposed by the American people in the U.S. election.

Other officials also celebrated Trump’s defeat and called for a revised U.S. foreign policy toward Tehran.

“Trump’s defeat, which was welcomed by the American people and most countries, means an end to the era of unilateralism, radicalism, escalation, violation of treaties and the rights of nations,” presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi tweeted on Sunday.

“Four years of the Trump administration’s harmful foreign policy could be a lesson for the new White House dwellers so that they seize this opportunity to change course and correct America’s wrong policies and come to terms with the new conditions of the international system,” Vaezi added.

Mohsen Rezaee, the secretary of the Expediency Council, said the new U.S. administration must lift all the anti-Iran sanctions immediately and apologize to the Iranian people for past mistakes.

“On the one hand, the new U.S. president must lift all the sanctions immediately, apologize to the Iranian nation for past mistakes and compensate for the economic damage inflicted upon the Iranian nation by the sanctions.” Rezaee wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“On the other hand, we should not wait for the lifting of sanctions. Instead, we should jump over the half-ruined wall created by America through relying on our capabilities and strengthening [our] economy, culture, domestic security and also the Resistance in the region,” he said.

“We do not seek war, but we uphold the rights of our nation powerfully,” added the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Meanwhile, as time runs out on the side of the outgoing Trump administration, it has resorted to ramping up efforts to put more pressure on Iran in order to make the path of returning to the JCPOA harder for the incoming administration.

According to reports, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected in Israel next week as the U.S. and the Israeli regime plan a last-minute spate of sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo will arrive in Israel on November 18 and will probably visit other countries in the region, the Israeli media reported.

The reports said the Trump administration — in coordination with Israel and Arab states in the Persian Gulf — was planning a new batch of wide-ranging sanctions on Iran to make it more difficult for the next administration to reenter the JCPOA.

Back in September, the Trump White House brought two historic defeats on itself, by failing to initiate the reimposition of all UN Security Council sanctions on Iran and failing to extend a UN arms embargo on Tehran which came to an end on October 18.

The architect of the defeats, Mike Pompeo, under whom the U.S. has pursued the so-called “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, claimed on Sunday that the Iranian government has caused the Iranian people to starve.

He made the remarks on Twitter, in response to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said earlier “the situation in the U.S. and what they themselves say about their elections is a spectacle!”

“Regardless of the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear, the definite political, civil and moral decline of the U.S. regime,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Pompeo, who has threatened to starve the Iranian nation via sanctions, said, “Today, your people starve because you spend billions on proxy wars to protect your kleptocracy.”

“You’ve personally stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from your people,” the raging outgoing secretary of state added.

In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said it is fully understandable that Pompeo is “furious about having to leave Foggy Bottom after 2.5yrs of one embarrassing failure after the other.”

“‘Max pressure’ failed, & so have the outlaw charlatans behind it,” Khatibzadeh said via Twitter. “Soon he’ll be on ash heap of history, as proud Iranian ppl stand tall.”


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