Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed the U.S. president’s comments on the June 7 terror attacks in Tehran as “repugnant” after Donald Trump pointed the finger of blame at Iran itself. Trumps’s reaction was met with criticism even at home.
“Repugnant WH (White House) statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by U.S. clients. Iranian people reject such U.S. claims of friendship,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Trump offered contradictory comments over the twin attacks in Tehran, on the one hand offering solace and on the other blaming the victim for the deadly operation claimed by Daesh Takfiri [ISIS] terrorists.
The U.S. president pointed the finger at Tehran itself, arguing that victims are sponsors. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote,” claimed Trump.
The State Department had initially released a more benign statement on Wednesday, in the wake of the attacks in Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) and the mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini, which left at least 17 people dead and nearly 50 others injured. “The depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world,” the statement by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Trumpian foreign policy: Flawed & adrift
Meanwhile, Richard Haass, who was a former senior employee at the U.S. State Department and is now the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, has criticized the White House statement regarding the terrorist attacks in Iran, pointing to a possible schism among the staffers who helped draft it. “WH statement on Iran terror, which after condolences says Iran deserved it, is result of divided staff drafting w/o smart clear guidance,” Haass wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday.
He then said that a journalistic investigation of the process behind the drafting of the statement would shed light on the Trump administration’s political flaws.
Earlier on Wednesday, and as the attacks were unfolding in the Iranian capital, Haass had said in another tweet: “Note to POTUS” — that the U.S. had to condemn the attacks in Tehran.”
Also criticizing Trump’s stance on Tehran attacks was Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who expressed surprise at the U.S. president’s “sympathy/insult statement” in a Twitter post: “Btwn inexplicable anti-Qatar rants & bizarre Iran sympathy/insult statement, Trump Middle East policy coming fully off the rails this week,” read the post.
The White House’s reactions also drew criticism from Washington DC-based non-profit organization, National Iranian American Council, which voiced support for the people of Iran in the wake of terror. “We underscore that administrations that cannot empathize with human suffering risk losing their humanity, and presidents that cannot genuinely recognize victims of terrorism are incapable of leading the fight against terror,” it added.
Meanwhile, the United States Congress has started work on imposing extra sanctions against Tehran, partly for what the bill describes as Iran’s “support for acts of international terrorism.” The Republican-controlled Senate acted in a procedural vote to advance the new set of sanctions against Iran despite calls by Democrats to delay the vote.
Key Democratic figures such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and California Senator Dianne Feinstein called for a delay in the vote out of respect for the fallen in the wake of the attacks but to no avail.
“On a day when Iran has been attacked by ISIL (Daesh), by terrorism, now is not the time to go forward with legislation calling for sanctions against Iran,” Sanders said in a statement. “Today when they are mourning, when they are dealing with the shock of a terrorist attack, today is not the day to go forward with this piece of legislation,” it added.
ISIS attack exposes anti-Iran propaganda, by Paul R. Pillar, Consortium News, June 7, 2017
An ISIS-claimed terror attack in Iran killing a dozen people shows how dishonest the U.S. government has been in lumping Iran in with terror groups that it has aggressively fought, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
National Iranian American Council statement on terrorist attacks in Tehran
Washington, DC – The President of the National Iranian American Council, Trita Parsi, issued the following statement in response to the terrorist attacks on the Iranian Parliament and the Shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran, which reportedly killed 12 and injured 42 people:
Just a few days after the terrorist attacks on London the world is faced with yet another violent affront to peace. This time the the people of Iran have been terrorized. The National Iranian American Council condemns this violent and outrageous attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the Iranian people after this heinous crime.
We urge President Trump, members of the U.S. Congress and all nations around the world to condemn the attack in solidarity with the Iranian people without delay, as European officials have already done. Terrorism respects no borders, and we remind the Trump administration that Iranians held vigils for the American victims of terrorism after the September 11th attacks. [End statement.]
NIAC statement on President Trump’s heartless message to Tehran’s terror victims
Washington, D.C. – The National Iranian American Council released this statement following President Trump’s callous response to the terrorist attacks in Tehran:
We support the people of Iran who have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to the values of tolerance and diplomacy, despite the hardships they face. We underscore that administrations that cannot empathize with human suffering risk losing their humanity, and presidents who cannot genuinely recognize victims of terrorism are incapable of leading the fight against terror. [End statement.]
Iran Says White House Statement On Tehran Terror Attacks Was ‘Repugnant’
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister Of Iran, tweeted late Wednesday that he found the White House Statement in response to the Iran terror attacks ‘repugnant’ and that the people of his nation reject a fake show of friendship.
Following the terror attacks that struck Iran’s parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on June 7, leaving 12 people dead and more than 40 injured, Trump issued a statement to offer condolences and prayers for the families of the victims who were affected by the tragedy.
Zarif’s scathing comments, however, were directed towards President Donald Trump and the White House for the second part of the statement released after the attacks. The official statement started off by offering condolences after the attack before moving on to read in a second sentence: “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”
This was not the first time Trump was condemned by Zarif. He has been criticised by the Iranian foreign minister a number of times in the past.
This latest White House statement was seen by many as a taunt directed at Iran for being victimized by the very terrorists they allegedly shelter, according to U.S. claims. Shortly after the attacks, the Islamic State group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were there to “stay,” First Post reported.
The White House statement was backed by Aaron Sagui, a spokesman for Israel’s embassy in Washington. He highlighted the second sentence in the White House statement and added an “Exactly” after that.
The fact the U.S. government will not back down became clearer hours after the terror attacks when Republicans and Democrats in Congress acted on a procedural vote to move forward with a bill to impose additional sanctions on the on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as anyone trading with them. It would also apply terrorism sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and enforce an arms embargo, Fox News reported.
The vote on the bill went ahead despite a few senators, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, urging for it to be delayed in light of the recent Iran attacks. “Let us tell the people of Iran that while we have serious disagreements with them on a number of issues [sic], that today when they are mourning, when they are dealing with the shock of a terrorist attack, today is not the day to go forward with this piece of legislation,” Sanders said.
But New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez countered by saying the bill was a “carefully crafted response to Iran’s ongoing aggression in the Middle East.”
While the U.S. blamed Iran for the attacks on its own soil, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia and its growing friendship with the U.S. “This terrorist attack happened only a week after the meeting between the U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saudi backward leaders who support terrorists. The fact that Islamic State has claimed responsibility proves that they [Saudi Arabia] were involved in the brutal attack,” they stated, according to Newsweek.
Saudi Arabia denied the allegations and also condemned the attack.
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