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Why Is This Enemy Even Allowed To Speak Here?

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran’s foreign minister, speaking at an event organized by a non-government organization in New York, bluntly told an invited audience on Wednesday that the United States must recognize the authority of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) if it wanted to navigate the Strait of Hormuz — the strategically-vital sea passage that connects the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea.

During an appearance at the Asia Society in Manhattan, Mohammad Javad Zarif was questioned as to whether the Tehran regime might close off the Strait of Hormuz —  through which approximately 35 percent of the world’s oil supply is carried — to international shipping.

“When the US enters the Strait of Hormuz, they have to talk to those who are protecting the Strait of Hormuz — and that is the [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard Corps,” Zarif answered according to Ben Cohen, reporting for The Algemeiner.

The IRGC, Cohen notes, was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the Trump administration on earlier this month — marking the first time that the US has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group. In a statement announcing the decision, President Donald Trump described the IRGC as “the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.” Trump then added pointedly, “If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.”

Cohen reported Zarif was visiting New York for a UN meeting, and depicted Iran as the unfortunate victim of aggressive US unilateralism during a session moderated by the Asia Society’s president and CEO, Josette Sheeran.

Cohen reported that Zarif claimed Iran was being attacked through an international “plot” involving Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and anti-Iran hawks in Washington, DC.

“I call them the ‘B-team,” Zarif quipped several times during his speech. “Bibi, Bolton, bin Zayad, bin Salman.”

According to Zarif, reported Cohen, a kitchen cabinet comprising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, US National Security Adviser John Bolton, UAE ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayad and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “wants the US to take crazy measures.”

Zarif said he doubted that Trump would be willing to take military action against the Islamic Republic.

“He ran on a campaign promise not to waste another $7 trillion on [war in] our region, and he seems careful to implement his campaign promises,” he said. The true problem lay in “plan B of the ‘B-team,’ because they have a different plan from Trump.”

Zarif went on to assert that Trump was being “lured into a plot” by an anti-Iran coalition.

“It’s not a plan, it’s a plot,” he stressed. “And it will cost another $7 trillion.”

Elaborating, he argued that the key difference in US policy was that “Trump wants to bring us to our knees in order to talk, and the ‘B-team’ wants regime change, they want the disintegration of Iran.”

Just so we’re clear here, this mouthpiece for terrorism was not speaking at the UN, where by treaty he can come and speak, he was spewing this hateful propaganda to a private, non-government organization that organized this forum for him.

What’s even worse is that later on in his speech, Zarif said Iran took full credit for the military defeats inflicted upon the Islamist terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“We are in forefront of fighting terrorism,” he claimed, saying that Iran had been “the only country fighting Da’esh (ISIS)” alongside Iraqi and Syrian ground forces.

Ms. Sheeran did not challenge her guest on that point, reported Mr. Cohen, and no broader discussion ensued concerning the Iranian regime’s support for the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, Iran’s role in crushing the independence bid of Iraqi Kurdistan overwhelmingly supported by a Sept. 2017 referendum, Iran’s attempt to control a land corridor stretching to Israel’s northern border or similar issues.

Zarif was also adamant that Iran would continue to export oil to the international market, reports Cohen, despite the US announcement on Monday that it would not renew waivers for eight countries to continue purchasing Iranian oil.

“We will continue to find buyers for our oil and we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil,” Zarif said.

“If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences,” he emphasized, without giving specifics.

That the Iranian Foreign Minister was invited to speak this anti-Semitic nonsense before an allegedly credible American non-government organization without any contradiction is ridiculous. That Zarif was even allowed into this country to threaten us and undermine the policy of our government is an outrage. If President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo are serious about stopping the Iranian Islamist threat to the West, their first order of business should be to stop giving the Iranians American forums from which they can undermine our policies.

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