Iran slams US for ‘bullying’ Turkey

File photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia April 18, 2017. — Reuters pic
File photo of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaking to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia April 18, 2017. — Reuters pic

TEHRAN, Aug 11 — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif waded into the mounting row between Turkey and the United States today, accusing Washington of an “addiction to sanctions and bullying”.

US President Donald Trump’s “jubilation in inflicting economic hardship on its Nato ally Turkey is shameful,” Zarif wrote on Twitter.

“The US has to rehabilitate its addiction to sanctions (and) bullying or entire world will unite — beyond verbal condemnations — to force it to,” he warned. 

“We’ve stood with neighbours before, and will again now.”

Trump said yesterday he was doubling steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey as part of an ongoing row over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson and other issues.

The tensions have fuelled a run on the Turkish lira, which dropped 16 per cent to a record low yesterday, with Trump tweeting that the currency was sliding “rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!”

Iran has also suffered a major decline in its currency this year, in part due to the reimposition of US sanctions after Trump abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, with the rial losing around half its value against the dollar since April. — AFP

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