Iran’s Zarif criticizes US over ‘military option’ threat

Iranian foreign minister criticizes statement that ‘military option’ for US in dealing with Iran is still on the table despite completion of nuclear deal

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has criticised the United States and Israel for not taking the threat of military action against his country off the table following the completion of the long sought for nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Zarif said the military option is "an unwise and dangerous temptation."

Monday's report by the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying "there are people who talk about illegal and illegitimate application of force" against Iran.

Zarif’s remarks come after US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said the deal "does nothing to prevent the military option" being used in the future to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Carter made the remark on his way to Israel, the first stop in his upcoming tour of the Middle East. Carter will later visit Saudi Arabia and Jordan to renew US security commitments in the region.

Carter was warmly welcomed by his Israeli counterpart on Monday. The Pentagon chief met at Israel’s defense headquarters with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and on Tuesday is to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has strongly criticised the Iran deal.

Yaalon thanked Carter for his country’s contributions to Israeli security and military excellence and said Israel appreciates its friendship with the US.

Netanyahu described has the nuclear agreement with iran as a "historic mistake" which would open the way for the country to produce nuclear weapons.

Carter’s comments were likely made in an effort to calm Israel, the main US ally in the Middle East

In an interview on Sunday, Netanyahu rejected a proposal involving the US raising the level of military aid to Israel following the agreement, saying that to accept this would suggest Israel's approval of the deal.

The deal between Iran and six world powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - is aimed at monitoring Iran's most sensitive nuclear work for over 12 years in exchange for immediate relief for the country from the economic sanctions which have long crippled its economy.

The United Nations’ Security Council is planning to vote on a definite resolution this week concerning the long sought after nuclear deal, which if passed would end targeted sanctions but retain an arms embargo and ballistic missile technology ban on Iran.

TRTWorld and agencies