The foreign minister's remarks came in the form of a tweet following revelations that Trump would chair a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York City on September 26 focusing on Iran's "violations of international law and the general instability Iran sows throughout the entire Middle East," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters on Tuesday.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) August 31, 2018
The US holds the presidency of the UNSC in September, a rotating position that allows countries to serve as the presiding officer for a short time and grants them the right to call meetings, approve provisional agendas and more.
Zarif tweeted that Trump is "violating" the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that lifted long-standing sanctions on the country and "bullying" other countries to do the same.
He added that there is "only one UNSC resolution on Iran," which is currently still in effect. Resolution 2231 endorsed the Iran nuclear deal and lifted all sanctions on Iran so long as the country is in compliance with its terms.
Trump also "plans to abuse [the] presidency of [the Security Council] to divert a session — [an] item devoted to Palestine for 70 [years] — to blame Iran for horrors US & clients have unleashed across [the Middle East]," Zarif said. The senior Iranian official used the hashtag "chutzpah," a Yiddish word meaning shameless audacity, to describe the US' posturing.
Haley has been pushing at the UN for resolutions to condemn Iran prior to the US taking the position of presidency on the UNSC in 2018.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 5, 2018
Trump announced a withdrawal from the Iran Deal on May 8, and US sanctions against Iran have been reinstated, much to the vexation of Iran's European trading partners. On Thursday, the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iran was still within the Iran Deal-imposed regulations on uranium enrichment levels, enriched uranium stocks and more. In other words, the country is still in compliance with the deal, according to the agency. However, Zarif also said on Thursday that sticking to the deal is "not Iran's only option."
— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) September 4, 2018
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is planning to address the UN General Assembly on September 25. On September 26, Iran is allowed a request to speak at the Security Council.
— Hooman Majd (@hmajd) September 5, 2018
The US is expected to take aim at Iranian involvement in conflicts in the Middle East, namely in Yemen and Syria, Sputnik News reported. In Syria, Iran is operating per the request of the government, which considers the US, conversely, an illegal occupier. In Yemen, Iran is accused of backing the Houthi government, which the Saudi-led coalition that includes the US is attempting to oust.
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) September 4, 2018
On Friday, the UNSC will discuss the situation in Idlib, the last remaining stronghold of anti-government Islamists in Syria. The Syrian government is reportedly planning a "phased" operation to liberate it, a move condoned by Iran and Russia as a necessary step to rid Syria of the scourge of terrorism. Moscow bombed positions held by the jihadist al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al Nusra on Tuesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told reporters.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 5, 2018
Trump warned Russia and Iran that they must not "recklessly attack Idlib Province" in a Monday night tweet, saying such an operation would be a "grave humanitarian mistake." On Tuesday, the US State Department expanded the White House's red line, saying that "any Assad military offensive in Idlib would be an unacceptable, reckless escalation of the conflict in Syria." It is widely believed that the war in Syria will be all but over after the operation is complete, with a victory for the Assad government in plain sight after the seven-plus year war.