Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has ridiculed his US counterpart for his erroneous estimates of the Iranian Air Force’s reach in Europe and Asia when the UN arms embargo against Tehran expires, saying this shows Mike Pompeo is desperately attempting to mislead the world about Iran.
The US secretary of state tweeted a map on Tuesday, in which he said not only would Iran buy warplanes upon removal of the embargo in October, but it would also be able to deploy the aircraft to places that would require them to max out their fuel, without taking into consideration the logical flaws in his claim.
“If the @UN Arms Embargo on Iran expires in October, Iran will be able to buy new fighter aircraft like Russia’s SU-30 and China’s J-10. With these highly lethal aircraft, Europe and Asia could be in Iran’s crosshairs,” Pompeo wrote.
In response, Zarif posted a picture of the same map’s legend on his Twitter page, which explained the given ranges were maximum distances during a “one-way flight only.”
Mocking the flaw, Zarif said “@SecPompeo is so desperate to mislead the world that he claims come October, Iran will purchase fighter aircraft. And then send them off to the limits of their ONE-WAY ranges.”
“Perhaps he could also say how they would fly back to Iran having exhausted their fuel,” added Zarif and tagged the tweet with #shameless.
Earlier this year, the US announced its intentions to prevent the lifting of the embargo on the purchase of conventional weapons to Iran that will expire in October under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
The JCPOA is a nuclear deal that was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of states — the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — in Vienna in 2015.
Washington is legally not allowed to press the United Nations into prolonging the embargo as it left the deal in 2018.
It, however, alleges that it can mount such a campaign as it is still “named” as a JCPOA partner in the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which has endorsed the nuclear accord.
Tehran has strongly denounced the US’s obstinacy in this regard, and vowed to retaliate duly if the arms embargo is extended under Washington’s pressure.
Later on Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council is due to hold a first round of talks on a resolution drafted by the US to indefinitely extend the ban.
The council’s veto-powers Russia and China have already signaled their opposition to the move.