Sanction on Zarif not action of responsible adult

TEHRAN, Aug. 06 (MNA) – John Limbert, the former US State Department diplomat believes that US sanction on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is not action of a responsible adult.

Limbert started his report by raising some questions about the action of US President Trump for sanctioning the Iranian Foreign Minister. The report is as follows:

Watching the “sanctioning” of the US government on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, I ask this question: “Where are the adults?”

Why did the Trump administration take the bizarre action of sanctioning the Iranian foreign minister? It is not the action of a responsible adult. It resembles the action of an impulsive, frustrated child, who lashes out when he cannot have his way.

First, he fell victim to President Trump’s obsession with his predecessor. Zarif’s crime was to have been a principal negotiator of the 2015 nuclear agreement (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) between Iran and six other countries, including the United States. The Trump administration has attacked the agreement with special venom, not for its contents, but for its connection to former President Barack Obama. Zarif is collateral damage.

Since it can only denounce, but cannot act, against the JCPOA’s American architects (Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz), who are now private citizens, the Trump administration has vented its spleen against the main Iranian negotiator, who is still an official of his government. If Trump, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cannot act against Obama, they will go after Zarif.

Second, like it or not, Zarif is an effective spokesperson for his country and his government. He is doing what any diplomat is expected to do: argue his government’s views as best he can. Like a defense lawyer with an obviously guilty client, he still has a professional responsibility to fulfill.

The fact that Zarif is articulate is a challenge to this administration. Contrast his style with that of Secretary Pompeo at the American University of Cairo in January 2019 when, instead of laying out a policy, he ridiculed his predecessors in front of a baffled and embarrassed foreign audience. His only purpose was to tell the world that his boss is a master negotiator. A most unprofessional performance.

The administration is not punishing an individual. It is rejecting the entire idea of diplomacy. Zarif may have a terrible case to argue, but he argues it as a professional.

So far, there’s no sign the Iranians are ready for such a meeting. What did the president expect? Does he not realize the depth of mistrust that exists?

Where are the adults in the Trump administration? Nowhere to be found, apparently. Officials are competing to show their boss who can be the most childish.

One winner of that competition is a writer on the Department of State’s Persian-language twitter account.

Was there no adult supervising this person writing for an official US Government outlet? Was it wise to use such an insult against someone the president wants to meet? Obviously not. Without that supervision, the children were left free to run amok.

Such a vulgar phrase has no place in diplomacy or on an official US government account. The president says he wants to talk to Iran. If he does, he will need to use some basic diplomacy. But publicly unloading on Zarif is not diplomacy. Words carry power, and adults choose their words carefully. Children do not.


News Code 148551


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