Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declared that “The escalation by the United States is unacceptable.”
He made these statements at a meeting with Japanese officials in Tokyo.
The Foreign Minister stated, “We exercise maximum restraint… in spite of the fact that the United States withdrew from JCPOA last May.”
The JCPOA refers to the nuclear deal which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
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Zarif claims that Iran is still “committed” to the deal, and stated that recent assessments demonstrated that Iran was in compliance with this nuclear deal.
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by the United States, Iran, and other countries, where Tehran lowered its uranium enrichment capacity and had sanctions eased in exchange.
This deal was signed by then President Barack Obama but was rejected by President Donald Trump for being too “one-sided” in his view.
Trump, at the time, declared that the “The JCPOA, a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.”
Iran’s tough rhetoric comes after the White House made an announcement last week to deploy an aircraft carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf to send a strong message to Iran.
On Wednesday, the U.S. government ordered the partial evacuation of its Baghdad embassy citing potential threats coming from Iranian-proxy militias.
Despite the growing tension in the Middle East, President Trump has reiterated his intention to stay out of conflicts in the Middle East.
This past Tuesday, he downplayed a New York Times report that detailed a U.S. plan to send 120,000 troops to in the region if Iran decides to escalate tensions
Trump said, “I think it’s fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
Although Trump has maintained restraint in foreign affairs, the hawkish factions in his administration are pressuring him to get involved in foreign adventures in countries like Iran and Venezuela.
Should Trump cave in, his America First agenda will likely go out the window.