Diplomacy

After Vowing to Ignore UN Resolutions, Rouhani Says US Hurting “Confidence-Building” Efforts

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that “humorous words, slogans and improper jokes” by the United States serve to “damage the trend [towards] confidence-building,” Iran’s Fars news agency reported Monday. Rouhani’s complaint comes days after he promised that Iran “will not ask for permission or abide by any resolution” that prevents it from obtaining any weapons it deems necessary.

The Times of Israel suggested that Rouhani’s remarks were made in response to efforts by the Obama administration to convince lawmakers to support the nuclear deal with Iran.

Rouhani said that the international climate following last month’s nuclear agreement was conducive to international “confidence-building,” but that discussion of military attacks harm the positive environment. Obama administration officials had reportedly told lawmakers that intelligence obtained by nuclear inspections would be useful for a possible future military strike.

“Such humorous words, slogans and improper jokes damage the trend [toward] confidence-building,” the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Rouhani as saying. …

The Obama administration reportedly told US politicians that passing the nuclear deal is the best way to ensure that a military option remains possible and that nuclear inspectors would obtain intelligence that could help in future military attacks, Politico reported Monday.

Late last month, Iran accused the United States of being in material breach of the JCPOA based on remarks made by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Rouhani made his statement about Iran’s unwillingness to abide by “any resolution” related to buying, selling, or developing any weapons it deemed necessary at the unveiling of a new generation of Iranian-made ballistic missiles this Saturday. While Iran is restricted from developing ballistic missiles by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (.pdf), which formalized the JCPOA, Tehran has not stopped developing these weapons and insists that the language in the resolution does not apply to its program.

According to Fars today, Hussein Sheikholeslam, a senior adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker, responded to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s wish for the start of a new relationship between the two nations by saying that Iran would not forget the past or “Britain’s colonialist moves.” In the same report, Sheikholeslam also called for the annihilation of Israel.

[Photo: Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών / Flickr ]