Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said Donald Trump is “100% right” in that the US military has no business in the Perisan Gulf, after Trump questioned whether they needed to maintain such a strong presence in the region.
Tweeting in rare agreement after Trump announced a new round of sanctions against Tehran, Zarif said that removal of US forces would be “fully in line” with the interests of the US and the world.
.@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it’s now clear that the #B_Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 24, 2019
Zarif added, however, that the “B-Team” – a reference to National Security Advisor John Bolton and US allies Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – was “not concerned” with US interests. He maintained that hawkish officials “despise diplomacy” and show a “thirst for war.”
Trump had earlier questioned US protection for oil-importing countries like China and Japan in the Strait of Hormuz, saying that the US military protects the shipping lanes for other countries for “zero compensation.”
China gets 91% of its Oil from the Straight, Japan 62%, & many other countries likewise. So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation. All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2019
“We don’t even need to be there,” Trump said, arguing that because of the US’ own increased energy production, there was no reason it should protect ships belonging to other countries for free. They “should be protecting their own ships,” Trump’s tweet said.
Zarif’s comments came just hours after Trump signed an executive order imposing a new round of “strong sanctions” in response to Tehran’s downing of a US drone last week. Zarif himself will also be targeted in another round of sanctions later this week, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN said on Monday that Tehran will not engage in dialogue with Washington while it is under threat of more sanctions and said the latest measures show the US has no respect for international law and order.
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