US deploys psychological warfare against Iran & its intl partners – Iranian FM

US deploys psychological warfare against Iran & its intl partners – Iranian FM
The US is waging psychological warfare against Iran and its international partners, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said. Heated exchanges between the states have escalated since Washington pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.

“America is now focusing on psychological warfare and seeks to put pressure on Iran and Iran’s international partners,” Zarif said, as cited by Fars News Agency.

The Iranian foreign minister believes that from the time US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the US “has not been able to reach its goals.”

“There are some in the country who, instead of laying the groundwork for using the opportunities presented by the nuclear deal, chose a political fight,” Zarif said, adding that this fight has “led to despair and disappointment.”

Tensions between the US and Iran have been mounting since Trump took office. The US president, a long-time critic of the historic 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, pulled out of the agreement this May. The withdrawal came despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Tehran’s compliance with the accord on numerous occasions. Even key US allies, including France and Germany, have failed to talk Trump out of the decision.

Tehran has repeatedly slammed the US for pulling out of the landmark agreement. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani once urged Washington to refrain from provoking Iran unless it wants “the mother of all wars” to break out. “The Americans must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” which “would only lead to regret.”

Earlier in August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a fierce critic of Tehran’s leadership, announced the creation of the Iran Action Group (IAG). According to the director of policy planning, Brian Hook, who will lead the initiative, the IAG is all about “changing the Iranian regime’s behavior.”

When it comes to other countries continuing to do business with Iran, Hook said the US is “prepared to impose secondary sanctions on other governments.” The US “certainly hopes for full compliance by all nations,” he said, noting that Washington’s goal is to “reduce every country’s imports of Iranian oil to zero by November 4.”

READ MORE: US creates Iran Action Group to ‘change regime’s behavior’

The EU, however, is attempting to maintain economic ties with Tehran. On Thursday, the bloc agreed on an Iran development aid package of €18 million (US$20.9 million). According to EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, the package will "widen economic and sectoral relations in areas that are of direct benefit" to EU citizens. The move angered Washington, which said the package is “sending the wrong message” and is apparently undermining its efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic with unilateral sanctions. 

While Washington often claims that it is not targeting regime change in Iran, former US diplomat Jim Jatras believes that, from what Pompeo describes, the US wants “an [entirely] different mode of governance in Iran.” “I think he is basically saying that we want to support a popular movement to bring down the Ayatollah’s regime,” Jatras told RT in July. 

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