Iranian Foreign Minister Takes Swipe at Tom Cotton during New York City Talk

AP Photo/Richard Drew
AP Photo/Richard Drew

Introduced by a New York University (NYU) statement as H.E. (His Excellency), Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spoke to a Manhattan crowd Wednesday about U.S.-Iran relations, the ongoing nuclear talks with world powers, his disdain for Sen. Tom Cotton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and other issues of the day.

In comments Bloomberg reporter Josh Rogin described as “blustery and self righteous,” Zarif told the New York crowd that a nuclear agreement would entail the lifting of all sanctions against Iran only a few days after a final agreement has been signed. Zarif also insisted that any future U.S. government would have to abide by the nuclear agreement and that the U.S. Congress cannot have a say in the manner.

Zarif said:

As a foreign government, I only deal with the U.S. government. I do not deal with Congress. The responsibility of bringing that into line falls on the shoulders of the [P]resident of the United States. That’s the person with whom we are making an agreement.

“Whether Senator [Tom] Cotton likes it or not,” the U.S. has to comply with the lifting of sanctions following a nuclear agreement, demanded the Iranian Foreign Minister.

Regarding Israel’s concerns with the nuclear deal, the Ayatollah’s representative said it is “laughable” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has become everybody’s non-proliferation guru.” Zarif also refused to answer whether Iran would be willing to recognize Israel, the Times of Israel reports.

Outside of the event, anti-regime protesters were holding a mock party celebrating Iran’s 1,000th hanging in the past 18th months.

“If anyone deserves to be humiliated and punked, it is a regime that hangs gays, murders poets and tortures bloggers,” said the event’s organizer, David Keyes, who is the executive director of Advancing Human Rights.

This was not the first time the American-educated Iranian Foreign Minister visited the United States on behalf of the Ayatollah’s regime. In a 2006 visit to New York’s Columbia University, Zarif exposed himself as a Holocaust revisionist when he refused to agree that six million Jews were murdered during the WWII genocide.


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