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20 Nov, 2018 19:29

‘Are we also to blame for not raking Cali forests?’ Iran FM blasts Trump’s statement backing Saudis

‘Are we also to blame for not raking Cali forests?’ Iran FM blasts Trump’s statement backing Saudis

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has denounced the White House’s “shameful statement on Saudi atrocities” for blaming all sorts of ills on his country, asking on Twitter if Tehran will next be blamed for California wildfires.

“Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of. Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests — just like the Finns do?” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

He was referring to the statement issued by US President Donald Trump explaining why Washington has chosen to stand by Riyadh despite the “unacceptable and horrible crime” of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi — which Trump admitted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “could very well” have known about.

“I’m not going to destroy the world economy, and I’m not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

Zarif’s comments about raking the forests was a dig at Trump’s remark made during his visit to wildfire-ravaged California. Trump suggested Finland did not have the same problem because the Finns rake the underbrush that fuels the blaze. Finnish president Sauli Niinistö admitted he had discussed forestry with Trump but denied mentioning any raking, prompting many Finns – and Americans – to mock Trump on social media.

As evidenced by Trump’s statement, Washington continues to blame Iran for just about all the ills of the Middle East, from the conflict in Syria and the Saudi-led war in Yemen to the rising death toll along the Israel-Gaza border. So far, however, the conflict between Washington and Tehran has played out as a war of words on social media.

“Sanctions are coming,” Trump tweeted at the beginning of November, using a “Game of Thrones”-style meme. General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, responded on Instagram with a meme of his own.

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