Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has commented on Washington and Tel Aviv's decision to withdraw from UNESCO by listing off the other international agreements and treaties the US has left recently, including the Iran nuclear deal, multiple trade deals, and the Paris Climate Convention.
After #JCPOA, #NAFTA, #TPP, Climate Convention &…, the Trump regime—along with the Israeli regime—today officially withdrew from #UNESCO. Is anything left for the Trump Administration and its client regime to withdraw from? Perhaps from planet Earth altogether?— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 1, 2019
"Is anything left for the Trump Administration and its client regime to withdraw from? Perhaps from planet Earth altogether?" Zarif sarcastically asked.
Earlier, the organisation dismissed accusations of anti-Semitism and bias, which the US and Israel used to justify their withdrawals, as "counterproductive and shameful." Outgoing UNESCO chief Irina Bokova called the US exit a "loss of multilateralism" and said Washington and UNESCO needed one another like never before.
The US, Israel and UNESCO have had rocky relations over the course of many decades; the US withdrew from the UN body in 1984, citing "radicalism" and "Israel bashing," before rejoining in 2003. Washington withdrew again on December 31, 2018, similarly citing "anti-Israel bias," with Tel Aviv quickly doing the same.
Washington and Tel Aviv voiced their concerns with the organisation after Palestine was granted full membership in 2011. The US and Israel lost voting rights with UNESCO in 2013 after refusing to pay their dues following Palestine's admission.