“Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests — just like the Finns do?” Zarif quipped, a reference to Trump’s bizarre — and debunked — assertion that Finland has managed its wildfire risk by “raking and cleaning.”
Zarif’s sardonic tweet was in reaction to a statement issued by Trump on Tuesday in which the president affirmed his continued allegiance to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite the CIA conclusion that the crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident.
“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of … Khashoggi,” Trump said. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran.”
As Zarif noted in his tweet, Trump’s statement opened with a lengthy excoriation of Iran, a longtime rival of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. Iran and Saudi Arabia have backed opposing sides in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and different political factions in Lebanon and Iraq.
“The world is a very dangerous place!” Trump’s statement began. “The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq’s fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East.”
In a follow-up tweet, Zarif criticized Trump ― who has been steadily reimposing sanctions on Iran ― for harboring “hostility toward an entire people.”
“U.S. hawks’ dream of ‘uprooting the Iranian nation’ will never be realized,” Zarif wrote.