A month after US secretary of State, Mike Pompeo set conditions for the Islamic Republic, his counterpart in Tehran, Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded in a lengthy article published on his Ministry’s website, setting conditions in turn for Washington.
In a speech delivered at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Monday, May 21, less than two weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, Pompeo set twelve conditions for Iran, calling upon the Islamic Republic to change its behavior.
Zarif’s delayed response was widely published in Persian and English, on Wednesday, June 20.
Retaliating to Pompeo’s demands, Zarif has set a lengthy list of conditions for Washington.
“The announcement on 8 May 2018 of the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA and the unilateral and unlawful re-imposition of nuclear sanctions — a decision opposed by majority of the American people — was the culmination of a series of violations of the terms of the accord by this administration, in spite of the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency, as the sole competent international authority had repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the accord,” Zarif has insisted in his article.
Referring to Pompeo’s preconditions and remarks on imposing “crushing sanctions” on the Islamic Republic, Zarif has maintained, “Mr. Pompeo’s 12 preconditions for Iran to follow are especially preposterous as the US administration itself is increasingly isolated internationally due to its effort to undermine diplomacy and multilateralism. It comes as no surprise that the statement and the one made by the US president on Iran were either ignored or received negatively by the international community, including by friends and allies of the United States. Only a small handful of US client states in our region welcomed it.”
Accusing Pompeo of not having “a slight knowledge of Iran’s history and culture and the Iranian people’s struggle for independence and freedom,” Zarif has referred to a series of controversial events that led to the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister in August 1953.
Without mentioning the role of Iranian clergy in the downfall of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, Zarif has affirmed, the US should provide verifiable assurances that it will cease and desist from illegal measures such as “its role in the 1953 coup that led to the overthrow of Iran’s lawful and democratically-elected government and the subsequent 25 years of dictatorship in Iran.”
The Islamic Republic has imprisoned and executed thousands of opponents in its 39-year history and has been labeled one of the biggest prisons for journalists by international monitoring groups.
Furthermore, while avoiding any reference to the American diplomats taken hostages in 1979, Zarif has called upon the Trump Administration to respect principle of “pacta sunt servanda” [respecting agreements], saying, “The US withdrawal from some international agreements and undermining others, coupled with efforts to weaken international organizations, are examples of destructive moves so far by the US government, which have unfortunately darkened the outlook for the international order.”
Meanwhile, Zarif has set his own preconditions for laying the groundworks for any possible understanding between Washington and Tehran.
“The US government must respect Iran’s independence and national sovereignty and assure Iran that it will end its intervention in Iran’s domestic affairs in accordance with international law in general, and the 1981 Algiers Accord in particular,” Zarif has noted without elaboration.
Another precondition for reaching an understanding with Washington, according to Zarif is US respecting “the State immunity of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Setting another precondition, Zarif says, “The US government should openly acknowledge its unwarranted and unlawful actions against the people of Iran over the past decades.”
Apparently, Zarif has responded to a part of Pompeo’s speech where he focused on Iranian people, saying, “It’s worth the Iranian people considering, because instead of helping their own citizens, the regime continues to seek a corridor stretching from Iran’s borders to the shores of the Mediterranean. “
Moreover, Pompeo had reminded, “He [the Islamic Republic’ Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] will not live forever, nor will the Iranian people abide the rigid rules of tyrants forever. For two generations, the Iranian regime has exacted a heavy toll on its own people and the world. The hard grip of repression is all that millions of Iranians have ever known.”
Pompeo had gone further on by saying, “Now is the time for the supreme leader and the Iranian regime to summon the courage to do something historically beneficial for its own people, for this ancient and proud nation.”
While Zarif has tried to respond to Pompeo’s preconditions by setting a tit-for-tat sort of demands, he has put emphasis on Tehran’s resolution to remain loyal to JCPOA, “Following the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has earnestly engaged with the remaining JCPOA Participants (EU/E3+2) in a good faith effort to salvage this unique global diplomatic achievement. We continue to do so as of this writing.”