Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at the US’ resort to blackmailing, bribery, and bullying in its maximum pressure campaign against Iran, saying the Trump administration is acting like gangsters and Mafia groups.
Speaking to reporters in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Zarif referred to the recent move by the US administration to bribe the captain of Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 in order to seize the vessel, and described it as a shameful behaviour.
“The much more shameful move was that of Mr Brian Hook who sent an email to the captain of Adrian Daria vessel, in which he made a very explicit offer; he has introduced himself and his position, and said, ‘You can either hand over the ship to us, receive several million dollars and have a good life, or decline our offer, and have a very bad life in the future’,” Zarif said.
“Mr Hook didn’t even try to send his message using a diplomatic language. … In the email, Hook not only lures the captain, but also threatens and blackmails him,” he said.
“This, indeed, is not only the ethical breakdown but also the political and operational decline of the US, that an apparently high-ranking US State Dept. official – who has the grand-sounding position of Special Representative for Iran Affairs, as they call him – is forced to send such a message through email to a ship captain in order to advance Washington’s failed anti-Iran policy,” the Iranian top diplomat noted.
Zarif said the US must look and see what a miserable situation it is stuck in.
“It’s acting like gangsters; it’s acting like Mafia members. Mr Trump boasts that he wants to make America great again and to make America powerful again; is this a sign of power that you write to a captain, asking him to hand over his ship in return for money? Isn’t that what piracy means?”
“I don’t think it is much different from what cowboys did in Western movies. Therefore, I think the Americans should take a closer look at themselves,” Zarif concluded.