Fmr. Iranian Diplomat: Futile Diplomacy of ‘Empty Smiles’ Over After ‘Humiliating’ U.S. Defeat in Afghanistan

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif holds a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez (L, foreground), at the Foreign Ministry in Havana, on August 22, 2016. Mohammad is in Cuba on an official visit. / AFP / YAMIL LAGE (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images

Following the United States’ “humiliating” defeat in Afghanistan, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi warned that the days of Iran’s “futile diplomacy” of “empty smiles” were now over and that the hardline anti-American regime would accelerate its nuclear ambitions and pose a “great danger” to Western countries if the U.S. does not accept its nuclear deal conditions, adding that the Islamic republic’s sphere of influence in the region has now become accepted in Washington. 

In an interview that aired on Iraq TV on Tuesday, Mousavi proclaimed that “The days of empty smiles are over” in reference to the diplomacy of outgoing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was also the lead negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal.

“That diplomacy accomplished nothing for the Iranian citizens,” he added. 

Regarding Iran nuclear deal negotiations with the U.S., Mousavi warned of “great danger” to the U.S., Israel and the West if “American procrastination” persists. 

“If the U.S. abides by its commitments, Iran will return to the nuclear deal,” he said. “However, if the American procrastination continues, I believe that the Iranian escalation will continue.” 

“Iran will reduce its commitment to the nuclear deal, and I expect great danger to the Western countries and the Zionist entity, if things continue this way,” he added.

Mousavi also stated that as long as a return to the negotiating table is delayed, Iran will increase its strength.

“Iran will simply be stronger as long as they delay their return,” he said. “By now, we have seen that from 3.5% enrichment Iran reached 20%, and now 60%, and maybe it will reach 90%.”

“Any Iranian progress is detrimental to the [West],” he added.

Claiming that a nuclear bomb is “not part of Iran’s plans,” Mousavi warned that, regardless, as technology improves, “obviously, this will not serve the interest of the Western countries.” 

“As long as they drag their feet, our [nuclear] program will advance,” he said. “Iran’s hands will not remain tied.” 

“It will develop centrifuges and research centers, and increase enrichment and its stockpile of high-enriched uranium,” he added. “All these measures endanger Iran’s enemies and strike terror in their hearts.”

Ridiculing the recent American “defeat” in Afghanistan, the former diplomat claimed that Iran’s message has finally been accepted.

“After America’s humiliating and inhumane defeat in Afghanistan, we saw how people were killed when trying to escape, and we saw how America heinously left its collaborators and supporters behind,” he said. 

“Today, what Iran has been saying is being said in the White House, in the Pentagon, and in Congress,” he added. “So they got the message.” 

He then mocked President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, suggesting that they are fearful of the success of the region’s “resistance” alliance comprising Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah as well as the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other militia groups in the region supported by Iran.

“Today, the logic of the resistance axis is dominating international policy,” he said, “and this is why we saw Biden and Bennett trembling.” 

“When they met, Biden fell asleep and didn’t even listen to Bennett, and when he woke up, he talked nonsense, really, when he threatened Iran and said that if diplomacy fails, there will be other options,” he added.

In the wake of the chaotic American retreat in Afghanistan last month that led to a hasty Taliban takeover, many have expressed concerns of an emboldening of radical forces such as Iran, ISIS and al-Qaeda.

On Thursday, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp blasted President Biden’s exit from Afghanistan, claiming it was worse than 9/11 and calling it “the greatest victory for jihadists” and “a blow for American prestige” that won’t recover for decades.

Addressing the effects of the recent pullout on the Islamic regime, Kemp claimed that “What’s happened in Afghanistan has certainly empowered Iran and will inspire Iran as well to greater aggression in the region….”

“[Iran] will see the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan — when I say the U.S. I include Britain, etc. but particularly the U.S. because of the U.S. position — as being effectively a green light to do as it likes,” he said.

“It will see the weakness of America and believe that America is not going to intervene again in any significant way, and it will encourage Iran to be even more aggressive,” he added. “It will certainly encourage Iran to push ahead with its nuclear program which it intends to do anyway.”

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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