When he’s not taking orders from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is trolling people on Twitter, Washington Examiner reports. On October 22, Zarif claimed that the U.S. is stealing Iraq from its people. This is a popular Iranian claim, but one with a simple, sustaining purpose: to distract from Iran’s effort to steal Iraqi and Lebanese democracy. The next day, Zarif claimed that U.S. policy is driven by the arms trade and Iran’s policy by the pursuit of mutual understanding. What he neglected to mention, however, is that Iran’s notion of dialogue has a distinctly explosive character.
Two days later, the former ambassador to the United Nations regurgitated the all-time favorite hardliner trope. Namely, the assertion that because of its role in the 1953 Mosaddegh coup, the U.S. must always make special concessions to win Iranian trust. Here Iran wants to spread the belief that it is the revolutionary republic that has been offended by U.S. aggression and not the other way around.
While the 1953 coup was an unjustified act by the U.S. and U.K., it is ancient history by now. Iran simply uses that history to elicit sympathy from the Western Left and academics. Then it was the turn of the CIA and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to face Zarif’s wrath. Recognizing that the Trump administration has rightly called out Iran for its support of Al-Qaeda, Zarif is twisting in the wind. He has nothing to say because he knows Iran has been caught red-handed. So instead, he lies and follows in the Russian modus operandi of cultivated conspiracies.
On Monday, the foreign minister targeted Iran’s number two regional adversary, Saudi Arabia. Expect similar Zarif rants in the coming weeks as he attempts to throw Mohammed bin Salman off balance. But this Wednesday, Zarif brought out a trolling weapon of mass destruction.
This was described as a trolling WMD because it utterly twists the destructive reality Iran has reaped in Syria alongside President Bashar al-Assad, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and Russia. Since 2011, Iran has assisted Assad in barrel bombing, gassing, starving, torturing and hanging hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians. The reality speaks to Zarif and Iran’s version of peace as requiring either submission or death. As it pertains to Twitter, Iran’s foreign minister is the ultimate Internet troll, with unfortunate real-life consequences.