Zarif lashes out at Kerry's 'empty military threats'

Zarif lashes out at Kerrys empty military threats
Mohammad Javad Zarif. - AFP

Tehran - The Iranian foreign minister decried what he called the "uselessness of such empty threats against the nation of Iran and the resistance of the nation.


Published: Sun 26 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Jul 2015, 2:29 AM

Iran hit out on Friday against US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing him of threatening military action against Tehran if it fails to respect a historic nuclear deal sealed on July 14.
"Unfortunately the United States Secretary of State once again talked about the rotten rope of 'the ability of the US for using military force'," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a statement.
The Iranian foreign minister decried what he called the "uselessness of such empty threats against the nation of Iran and the resistance of the nation of Iran", and said such remarks should be consigned "to the last century".
Despite the agreement reached with Iran on putting the nuclear bomb out of Tehran's reach, several United States officials, including Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, have signalled that military force remains on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Kerry and other American officials "have repeatedly admitted that these threats have no effect on the will of the people of Iran and that it will change the situation to their disadvantage," Zarif claimed.
"Therefore, it would be better for Americans to abandon their old habit and put aside once and for all their threatening language and sanctions against this great people," he added.
Under the July 14 agreement, Iran has agreed to dismantle or mothball much of its nuclear industry in return for an easing and eventual lifting of sanctions.
World powers have called it a historic opportunity to set relations with Iran on a new path.
Meanwhile, the US secretary of state said on Friday it would be a huge mistake if Israel decided to take unilateral military action against Iran over its nuclear programme in the future.
Kerry was asked in an NBC Today show interview if the nuclear deal reached last week would make it more likely that Israel might attempt a military or cyber attack on Tehran.
"That'd be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don't think it's necessary," Kerry said.
He warned later on Friday that if Congress failed to approve the deal agreed last week between world powers and Iran to curb Iran's nuclear programme then Israel could be worse off. Congress has until September 17 to approve or reject the agreement.
"I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed," Kerry told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in New York.
"We would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate programme that allows us to put their programme to the test over these next years," he said.
Under the deal agreed in Vienna, United States, European Union and UN sanctions will be lifted in exchange for long-term curbs on Iran's nuclear programme that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb, but which Tehran says is peaceful. - AFP, Reuters

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