News ID: 253087
Published: 1059 GMT May 21, 2019

Zarif to Trump: 'Genocidal taunts' won't work; try respect

Zarif to Trump: 'Genocidal taunts' won't work; try respect

International Desk

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday gave a sharp rebuke to US Donald President Donald Trump for his overnight tweet threatening Iran with its "official end."

Zarif dismissed Trump's "genocidal taunts" and warned him not to threaten Iran.

With tensions rising, Trump tweeted on Sunday: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

Zarif said Trump, under pressure from a group that includes his National Security Adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do.”

He said Trump should look at history. "Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won't ‘end Iran’."

Zarif ended his tweet with “never threaten an Iranian” and suggested that Trump "try respect" instead of issuing threats because “it works”. 

Trump’s tweet came after a Katyusha rocket landed less than a mile from the sprawling US Embassy in Baghdad in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night which caused no casualties.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket launch.

After the blast, Iraqi police special forces found a rocket launcher in eastern Baghdad’s al-Sina district, about 7 km (4 miles) away across the Tigris River from the Green Zone, and sealed off the area.

The Green Zone was regularly targeted by mortars during the US occupation of Iraq that ended in 2011.

The embassy in Baghdad and US consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Erbil has already evacuated non-emergency staff.

Last week, Trump appeared to be backing away from his apparently hawkish stance against Iran, saying he would be open to talks.

When asked by a reporter at the White House on Thursday if the United States was going to war with Iran, Trump replied, "I hope not."

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his administration says it has built up the US military presence in the region. It accuses Iran of threats to US troops and interests. Tehran has described US moves as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”.

Both Iran and the United States have said they do not want war.

Reuters and AP contributed to this story.




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