News & Politics

Iranian Foreign Minister Caught Chanting 'Death to America'

Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the guarantors of the observance of Syria's ceasefire regime (Russia, Iran and Turkey) in Astana. Maksim Blinov / Sputnik via AP

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has been described as a “moderate” in the western press for years. He was the lead negotiator for the nuclear deal and was considered more of a “nationalist” than a theocratic revolutionary.

But liberals in the western press frequently delude themselves when it comes to Iran. Zarif had to be instructed to stop screaming at former Secretary of State John Kerry during negotiations:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told his country’s state controlled media in a recent interview that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has instructed him to stop yelling at Kerry and other top U.S. officials during the talks.

Reports about Zarif’s temper first emerged in the Iranian press last November, when the United States and Iran agreed to extend talks through June of this year.

Zarif is said to “frequently shout at Western diplomats” with such force that bodyguards have been forced to enter the negotiation room.

Yes..a moderate, indeed.

You would think a “moderate” from any country would not be seen chanting “Death to America” lest we get the wrong idea that he’s some kind of crazy-eights, fanatical extremist. And you would be right.

So what was Mr. Zarif doing taking part in the “Death to America” ritual that Iranians gin up at the drop of a hat?

The Daily Caller:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a key architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, was caught on camera chanting “Death to America,” “Death to Britain” and “Death to Israel,” Israeli outlet Ynetnews reported on Saturday.

Zarif participated in the violent chants on Thursday after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a speech in Tehran, according toYnetnews.

Zarif’s call for the destruction of America came less than two months after he secretly met with former Secretary of State John Kerry in mid-April to try and save the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry’s “unusual shadow diplomacy” was ultimately unsuccessful, as President Donald Trump announced on May 8 the U.S. would be withdrawing from the deal. Iranian lawmakers responded that same day by setting an American flag on fire on the floor of parliament and chanting, “Death to America!”

Perhaps we should redefine the term “moderate” when applied to anyone in the Iranian leadership. Does it mean they want to slaughter the Jews more slowly? Maybe they would support allowing Iranian women to show their ankles in public? When you’re comparing one extremist to another, how do you determine “moderation”?

If nutcases like Zarif are to be described as “moderate,” I would suggest a small caveat be included in that description:

“Moderate — for Iran.”