ROME (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies in the Gulf are dangerous and misguided, Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday, adding that pressure from Washington had only succeeded in strengthening Tehran’s resolve.
Speaking at a conference in Rome, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticised Trump for seeking to renegotiate a 2015 deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear programme. He also questioned the U.S. response to a crisis between Qatar and its neighbours.
“We have problems with the policies that are coming from Washington and I believe those policies are extremely dangerous, impulsive, not grounded in reality,” Zarif said.
“Generally a revision, or a reorientation, or a cognitive adjustment to our region is highly necessary in Washington.”
He said Trump did not understand the nature of the nuclear accord and was trying to dissuade foreign investors from doing business in Iran. “In spite of the arm twisting, more and more European companies have been coming in,” he said.
Zarif led Iran’s negotiating team for the nuclear deal and faced criticism from hardliners at home over the terms of the accord. He said this dissent had faded over the past year.
“The United States’ pressure has in fact created more solidarity inside Iran. I am being attacked much less in Iran today than I was before Trump was elected. So I thank him for that,” Zarif said.
Trump said in October he would not certify that Tehran was complying with the 2015 deal and warned he might ultimately terminate it, accusing Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the accord.
Other signatories of the agreement — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union — have said they believe Iran is living up to its commitments.
Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Isla Binnie and Catherine Evans