TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has said that Iran expects the U.S. President Barack Obama to stick to his declared intention to deal with Iran on the basis of mutual respect.
Iranians react ‘very, very negatively’ to language of threat, Zarif tells Obama
Zarif made the remarks during an interview with CNN, part of which was published on Saturday.
Asked what he thinks of Obama’s statement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, Zarif said, “Well, I believe political leaders have to exercise leadership. I was rather disappointed that President Obama used language that was insulting to the Iranian people. I believe President Obama should, in fact, stick to his declared intention to deal with Iran on the basis of mutual respect. That’s what he said in his letter to the (Iranian) president (Hassan Rouhani). That’s what he said in his address to the General Assembly.
You do not deal with another state with mutual respect by threatening them, by trying to intimidate them, particularly when you know that that is not useful, that is not of any utility. As I said, the Iranian people react very, very negatively to such languages of threat and intimidation.”
After an Oval Office meeting with Netanyahu on Monday, Obama threatened Iran with military strike over its nuclear program, saying, “We take no options off the table, including military options.”
Tehran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes but the West suspects may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons.