08:05 GMT18 February 2020
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    US President used the Persian New Year as an opportunity to slam Iran; the country's Foreign Minister fended off the “arriviste”, targeting him with a degrading Tweet.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mocked Donald Trump for the “absurd insults” the US Head of State directed against the Middle East country during his greetings on the Persian holiday of Nowruz, which marks the beginning of the new year in Iran.

    ​Trump used the address not only to send his best wishes to “the millions of people around the world who are celebrating the arrival of spring,” but also to attack the Iranian authorities and the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He claimed the Iranians were burdened by “rulers who serve themselves instead of serving the people.”

    Trump dubbed the IRGC “a hostile army that brutalizes and steals from the Iranian people to fund terrorism abroad,” stating they payed Syria’s government as well as militants and terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Yemen $16 billion. Among other things, he accused Iran of damaging the environment, suppressing civil rights and impoverishing the locals.

    The verbal attack, hardly anticipated during the New Year wishes, is in line with the Trump administration's more hardened approach towards Iranian nuclear program and its policy in Syria and other Middle East countries.

    READ MORE:US Wants to 'Push Iran into a Position Where it Could Not Survive' — Professor

    He repeatedly denounced the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed by Russia, the United States, France, the UK, China and Germany and Iran, which stipulated the gradual lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran in exchange for the Islamic Republic ensuring that its nuclear power program remained peaceful.

    The US president slammed it as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has even entered into,” threatening to withdraw from it if “significant changes” are not made. He threatened to pull the US out of the deal unless it’s revised.

    Additionally, non-nuclear-related US sanctions remain in place. At the end of last year, the IRGC was added to its anti-terrorism sanctions list for alleged “providing support to a number of terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as to the Taliban," according to the US Treasury Department. It also stated that the establishment "played a central role to Iran becoming the world's foremost state sponsor of terror."

    In its turn, Teheran has rejected the accusations, saying they help Iraqi and Syrian governments fight terrorist groups.


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