02:29 GMT19 April 2021
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    Tensions between Iran and the US have further escalated over the past few weeks since the US blacklisted the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and introduced a new set of sanctions against Tehran. Iran, in turn, recognised the US CENTCOM as a terror group and announced it was scaling back on some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

    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.

    READ MORE: The US Has Our Number: Iran Brushes Off Trump’s Request to Call Him

    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.

    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.

    READ MORE: US Sends More Warships, Patriot Missiles to Mideast Amid Escalation With Iran

    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”.

    Last month, Zarif claimed that the B-Team, which he described as including Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “wants regime change at the very least” and is pushing Trump into a war with Iran.

    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.

    READ MORE: US ‘Not Seeking a Fight’ with Iran, But Ready to Use ‘Unrelenting Force’

    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.

    Zarif’s tweet comes just a few days after Iran announced it would suspend some of its obligations under the nuclear deal, having given the five remaining signatories a 60-day deadline to take measures towards ensuring Tehran’s interests amid the US sanctions.

    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.


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