Published On: Mon, Jan 27th, 2020

‘Bad Farsi? Try English’: Iran’s Zarif mocks Trump for comments based on Fox headlines & shabby translation

Tehran’s top diplomat has suggested the US president stop sourcing news from either Fox or his hapless Farsi translators, after Trump rejected negotiating with Iran, apparently missing a crucial nuance in a Der Spiegel interview.

President Donald Trump on Sunday told his Twitter subscribers that “Iran wants to negotiate with The United States, but wants sanctions removed.” He tagged Fox News and One America News and issued a resounding “No Thanks!” To hammer home the message, the commander-in-chief posted the same words in Farsi, the official language of Iran. Trump had earlier tweeted, also in Farsi, his support of anti-government protesters in Iran.

His remark apparently was in response to an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, which was published by Der Spiegel magazine. The Iranian foreign minister appears to doubt whether Trump got his words right, Zarif took to Twitter to lecture the US leader.

Trump, he said, “would be better advised to base his foreign policy comments & decisions on facts, rather than @Fox News headlines or his Farsi translators.” He also suggested that Trump read the English version of the interview himself, or at least the relevant part of it, which he helpfully attached to his Twitter post.

In the interview, Zarif said the US assassination of General Qassem Soleimani doesn’t mean Tehran will no longer speak to Washington, but stressed it was up to individuals in the US government to change their policies and start a dialogue. He seemed doubtful, however, that this would happen under Trump.

“The US has inflicted great harm on the Iranian people. The day will come when they will have to compensate for that. We have a lot of patience,” he said.

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A demonstrator protesting the US drone strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, at a rally in New Delhi on January 12, 2020. ©  AFP / Sajjad Hussain
Shedding ‘crocodile tears’ and ‘dishonoring’ Persian language: Iranian officials blast Trump’s Farsi tweets

The US and Iran remain locked in a bitter conflict as the Trump administration seeks to undermine Iran’s regional influence through economic sanctions and military pressure. The killing of Soleimani, a top general responsible for projecting Iran’s power in the Middle East, was one of the inflammatory episodes in the ongoing confrontation.

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