Iran Foreign Minister Zarif to Trump Administration: 'Make Up Your Mind'
01:49 09.09.2018(updated 09:51 09.09.2018)
Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has criticized US President Donald Trump's administration for its inconsistent behavior, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that Iran isn't doing enough to support the Palestinians.
Zarif posted a tweet calling the Trump administration's description of Iran's regional role "truly comical," highlighting that while Washington accuses Tehran of using its resources to finance terrorism in other countries, the White House is now suggesting that Iran isn't putting enough money toward financial aid for Palestinians, referencing Trump's earlier tweet accusing Iran of "squandering on terrorism."
The foreign minister's reaction came in the wake of US State Secretary Mike Pompeo blasting Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Twitter, following Khamenei's tweet that he agreed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Palestinian problems "should not be neglected even for a second."
Pompeo has accused Iran of being "morally corrupted," by financing terrorism and donating only small amounts of money to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which works in Palestinian territory as a humanitarian aid organization.
Meanwhile, the US has ordered some $25 million to be redirected from Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem as a part of a review of American aid to the Palestinian Authority. The cuts come as a part of a Trump rethink of US assistance to Palestinians, begun earlier this year. As a result, over $200 million has been redirected from Palestinian economic support in the West Bank and Gaza. A statement from the Palestinian Foreign ministry pointed out that axing support for hospitals threatens the lives of thousands of Palestinians.
"This dangerous and unjustified American escalation has crossed all red lines and is considered direct aggression against the Palestinian people," the Palestinian foreign ministry observed.
Although the officially stated reason for the removal of US aid to Palestine is "to ensure the funds were being spent in accordance with US national interests and were providing value to taxpayers," Trump later remarked in a Rosh Hashanah conference call that he had stopped the aid to force the Palestinians to accept Israel's version of what a peace treaty between the two nations would look like, cited by CBS News.
"We were – the United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money," Trump said on Thursday, "And I'd say, you'll get money, but we're not paying you until we make a deal. If we don't make a deal, we're not paying," cited by Newsweek.
Trump is reportedly planning to roll out his Middle East peace plan during a September UN General Assembly meeting, and will introduce new guidelines for both Israel and the Palestinians. The last attempt for peace talks brokered by the US, in 2014, ended without an agreement.
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