Mohammad Javad Zarif

  • Sanctioning Iran’s Top Diplomat Increases Chance for US-Iran War

    Running out of targets for sanctions, the Trump administration has now put Iran’s chief diplomat on its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.

    The stated reason for this is that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was educated in the US and spent much of his life representing Iran at the United Nations, is too good at his job.

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  • Is Iran Running Out of Patience With Nuclear Agreements?

    Ever since the Trump administration came to office, it has been applying pressure on Iran without provoking a new proliferation crisis. But the days of Donald Trump having his baklava, so to speak, and eating it too may be drawing to a close.

    In a series of public and private appearances last week in New York—on the sidelines of a UN preparatory meeting for a 2020 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made clear that Iran’s patience with the Trump administration and the international community may be coming to an end. 

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  • The Pictures Which Forced Zarif to Resign Reveal Deep Problems in the Iranian System

    The resignation of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif came as a shock, and not just due to the delivery system. He made the announcement on an Instagram post addressed to his followers instead of official channels. 

    The timing was suspect as well. Zarif decided to leave office just as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a completely unexpected visit to Tehran which was quite unbeknownst to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to sources in Tehran. To reporters who asked him about the news, Zarif responded, “After the pictures of today meetings,...

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  • Impeaching the Foreign Minister Won’t Solve Iran’s Woes

    Iran’s US-educated Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has always had enemies within the Iranian establishment.

    When Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was imprisoned during the 2009 post-election protests known as the Green Movement, his interrogators demanded not only that he admit to being a CIA agent but that Zarif—who had been sidelined by then hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after serving as Iran’s UN ambassador—had ties “to Western intelligence agencies.” By formally accusing Zarif of espionage, hardliners could have ended his career once and for all.

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  • Why Trump’s Zig-Zag Diplomacy Towards Iran Will Fail

    President Donald Trump’s foreign policy – like his other policies – has seemed more about self-gratification than national interest.  He quit the Iran nuclear deal, undoing years of diplomacy, largely to erase part of the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Assisted by his administration, the current president poses as a hero forcing the Iranian establishment to succumb to his will. Trump says Iran must renegotiate the landmark deal that Iran, the US and five other world powers agreed to and the UN Security Council endorsed or there will be “severe consequences.”

    Trump’s subsequent offer to meet with his Iranian counterpart “without preconditions” produced an understandable feeling of whiplash, a week after he appeared to threaten Iran with destruction. During his campaign, Trump promised an “unpredictable” foreign policy. It is not clear whether he knew at the time about the...

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