Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has tweeted a 2017 article by John Bolton that was published in the magazine National Review before he was appointed US National Security Advisor.
In the tweet, Zarif addressed US President Donald Trump, saying that Bolton, along with the so-called “B-Team”, has been planning to get Washington out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, even before joining Team Trump.
.@realDonaldTrump: ICYMI, before you hired him, this was the plan that @AmbJohnBolton and his #B_Team cohorts had for Iran. A detailed blueprint for #FakeIntelligence, #ForeverWar and even empty offers for talks—only phone numbers were not included.https://t.co/beCZByEaCT pic.twitter.com/q5fXBGcwtj— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) 12 мая 2019 г.
The tweet also alluded to recent reports alleging that the White House had given Swiss authorities a phone number which Iranian officials could use to reach POTUS, who earlier encouraged them to call him as relations hit a new low.
As reports about Trump’s alleged phone number kept flooding in, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said that “if required, they have our number”.
Aside from the complicated situation with the United States over its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran has tense relations with Saudi Arabia, its key regional rival, who cut off diplomatic ties with Iran in 2016 in response to attacks on the Saudi diplomatic mission in the Islamic Republic, triggered by the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric by Saudi authorities.
Iran’s relations with Israel leave much to be desired as well: Tel Aviv has repeatedly expressed concern over Tehran’s alleged “entrenchment” in the Middle East, namely in Syria, and its purported attempts to establish a permanent military presence in the Arab Republic.
Israel has been carrying out airstrikes against what they claim are Iranian military targets in Syria, while Tehran has consistently argued that it has only sent military advisers to Damascus to help it fight terrorism.
The warning was made on 8 May – exactly one year after Washington unilaterally pulled out from the 2015 agreement, which saw anti-Iran sanctions lifted in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
In addition, the US intensified pressure on Iran by reinstating all restrictions and imposing new ones, with the ultimate goal of bringing down Tehran’s oil exports to zero.