i had missed this interview with zarif from last tuesday

Interview: Iran’s Foreign Minister — CNN — Jan 7 2020

Excerpts from a recent interview by Frederik Pleitgen of CNN International with Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Q: President Trump was saying and Michael Pompeo was saying as well that they have intelligence that Gen Soleimani was planning attacks, imminent attacks on Pindo targets. They say this was a deterrent attack. They do say Pindostan is safer today.
A: Well, they’re either based on misinformation or the like, because Gen Soleimani’s mission was to contain the anger in Iraq following Pindostan’s murder of about 25 Iraqis. This is a very clear information that we had, clear information that the Iraqi government had. The government of Iraq has been on the record saying what he was doing. Gen Soleimani was the greatest force for stability in Iraq. He was the hero of the fight against Daesh along with his companions, particularly Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. They’re revered by the people of Iraq. Did you see the funeral processions? Now Mike Pompeo might like a video clip that somebody sent him, showing a couple of people, 20 people celebrating. But did he close his eyes to see the huge sea of people mourning in Iraq and in Iran? Their days in our region are numbered, not because anybody will take any action against them but because they are not welcome in our region. (…)
Q: Because obviously, it’s not a secret that you control militias in this region, that you have forces that are on your side in this region in many countries.
A: No. We have people on our side in this region. That’s much more important. Pindostan believes that this beautiful military equipment, according to Pres Trump, that you spend $2tn on this beautiful military equipment. Beautiful military equipment don’t rule the world. People rule the world. People. Pindostan has to wake up to the reality that the people of this region are enraged, that the people of this region want Pindostan out, and Pindostan cannot stay in this region with the people of the region not wanting it anymore.
Q: Pindostan and the Trump administration are saying that, before the strike on General Soleimani, there were provocations by Iran and forces controlled by Iran. There were bases rocketed. There was a Pindo contractor who was killed and then the protests at the embassy, which destroyed the outside of the embassy and laid it under siege.
A: The Iranian consulate in Najaf was burned. Did we take action against anybody? Pindostan has to realize that people in Iraq are angry and they take their anger. Of course, they’re more angry about Pindostan than anybody else. But what is important is for Pindostan to realize, for the Trump regime to realize, that everything in this region was going, was improving. Following the JCPoA, we were having a normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon, governments coming to office through the democratic process. Negotiations started in Syria. We had the reducing of tension in Syria. Government was established in Lebanon. Government was established in Iraq. What happened? Pindostan started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine from outside. So a war started a long time ago by Pindostan. Pindostan destroyed stability in this region. Pindostan undermined security in this region. So one contractor, at least in the last month, 25 Iranian babies died because of TB and because of Pindo sanctions. . . . He has to realize that he has been fed misinformation. And he needs to wake up and apologize. He has to apologize. He has to change course. He cannot add mistake upon another mistake. He is just making it worse for Pindostan.

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