Actually, as far as Zarif was concerned, laying an enormous wreath on the grave of Mugniyah was almost certainly the right message, and the decision to send it was no disembodied slip of etiquette. Zarif is a cosmopolitan fellow, a veteran Iranian diplomat who lived for years in the U.S. and served from 2002-2007 as Iran’s ambassador in New York to the United Nations. Surely he knew exactly what he was doing, as did his masters in Tehran. The message he sent was a threatening insult to the U.S., and a de facto statement that whatever Iran’s regime might be discussing in Geneva, it stands by its terrorists. As for exacerbating tensions in the region, Iran’s regime has been more than happy to do that for decades, as long as it works to Tehran’s benefit — thus has Iran spawned and supported the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, armed the Palestinian terrorists of Hamas, salted Iraq and Afghanistan with IEDs, sent its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to the aid of Syria’s beleaguered tyrant Bashar Assad, and threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
The question isn’t whether Zarif’s homage to Mugniyah sent the wrong message. The question is, apart from the clerical endeavor of labeling it as wrong, what’s the U.S. going to do about it?