Iran’s Zarif Derides Trump over North Korea Summit Failure

DUBAI, March 1 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mocked U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday over the collapse of a summit on North Korean denuclearisation, vowing Washington would not get a better Iran nuclear deal than the one it exited last year.

A second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed on Thursday over sanctions, and the two sides gave conflicting accounts of exactly what happened, raising questions about the future of their denuclearisation talks.

“President Trump should’ve now realized that pageantries, photo-ops & flip-flops don’t make for serious diplomacy,” Zarif said on Twitter.

“It took 10 yrs of posturing plus two years-literally thousands of hours-of negotiations to hammer out every word of the 150 page JCPOA (Iran nuclear accord),” Zarif added.

“You’ll never get a better deal,” said Zarif, who is back in his job after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected his resignation earlier this week.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif laughs with reporters before meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Geneva January 14, 2015. Reuters

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders earlier said on Twitter: “President (Barack) Obama refused to walk away from a bad deal with Iran. President @realDonaldTrump refuses to make the same mistake with Iran, North Korea, or anybody else.”

Zarif is widely believed to have come out strengthened from his resignation thanks to Rouhani’s endorsement as well as a chorus of support from moderate Iranian lawmakers, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander and, implicitly, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After Trump abandoned the nuclear deal and reimposed U.S. sanctions in May, Zarif had come under heavy criticism from hardline opponents who accused him of selling out his country.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Peter Graff)