In a long-winded and rambling Facebook post, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted late Thursday that Western nations need to be more reasonable like that of Iran. He wrote a six-point list pointing out the moral implications of stopping Iran’s ally Syria.
The post was pulled Friday morning but the full text can be read below; it was only early last week that Zarif — whose country has long censored the Internet — admitted he and his family maintained a fan page on Facebook, according to Radio Free Europe.
In one point, Zarif said the U.S. didn’t “react when civilians in Iran and Iraq were victims of independently established massive and systematic use of advanced chemical weapons by their then-friend Saddam Hussein?”
“So, it is prudent to take their assertions at face value now, particularly since the circumstances and available evidence indicate the likelihood of the use of chemical agents by extremist groups,” he continued.
In 2010, Saddam Hussein’s cousin “Chemical Ali” was executed for the gassing of more than 5,000 Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1988. This was after the U.S. invasion that toppled Hussein’s government..
But it was in 1991, after the end of the Gulf War instigated by Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait that the Kurds were protected by a no-fly zone established by the U.S. and its allies in northeastern Iraq.
In Syria, it is Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps trainers and fighters who are working diligently to keep President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in power, at the expense of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of Iran’s proxy war with Western nations.
And as Zarif chastises the west for threatening to strike Syria, it is his nation of Iran that continuously promises to destroy Israel wiping it off the map as it continues to pursue nuclear weapons capabilities.
The Ayatollah Khamenei said in 2002, “Iran’s position, which was first expressed by the Imam [Khomeini] and stated several times by those responsible, is that the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region.”
Read the text of Zarif’s letter:
Greetings to all friends,
The recent abhorrent developments in Syria once again highlight the fundamental legal, political and moral question on the utility and effectiveness of the use or threat of force to advance humanitarian causes or even national policies. This has been a constant intellectual and practical concern for me over the past three decades.
A few thoughts on the current issue and wider implications:
1- Any use of chemical weapons must be condemned, regardless of its victims or culprits. This is Iran’s unambiguous position as a victim of chemical warfare. But has it always been the position of those who are now talking about punishing their presumed culprit? How did they react when civilians in Iran and Iraq were victims of independently established massive and systematic use of advanced chemical weapons by their then-friend Saddam Hussein? So, it is prudent to take their assertions at face value now, particularly since the circumstances and available evidence indicate the likelihood of the use of chemical agents by extremist groups.
2-Violence, repression, killing and extremism are repugnant crimes and every actor with influence in Syria must compel the parties to come to the negotiating table. But is a threat to use force the solution? Or does it represent the paradigm and the mentality that have helped to create this humanitarian tragedy and political catastrophe?
3- Are all options really on the table as the US president repeatedly declares? Is every nation with military might allowed to resort to war or constantly threaten to do so against one or another adversary? Isn’t the inadmissibility of resort to force or threat of force a preemptory norm of international law? Is there any place for international law and the UN Charter at least in words if not deeds?
4- Can one violate a preemptory norm of international law in order to punish – taking the claim at face value – a violation of law or even a crime?
5- Why in fact has the UN Charter — and other sources of international law dating back to the 1928 Paris Accord – have prohibited the use or threat of force? Is this a wishful idealism of a bunch of lawyers? Or is it in fact a legal reflection of a political reality? In other words, is war a useful instrument to advance foreign policy or humanitarian responsibilities in the 20th and 21st centuries? Or have war and the use of force been prohibited because they lost their practical utility?
6-Have those who maintain “all options on the table” noticed what these options have brought them and others in the past 100 years? Have they examined empirical evidence of the outcome of wars in the 20th and 21st century, all of which were initiated by those who were assured that their military might will lead to “shock and awe” and a quick victory? Have they not examined the fact that initiators of wars were totally annihilated or failed to achieve their objectives in 85% of the cases? and … Let us hope that we can avert another catastrophic adventurism.