On Tuesday, November 20, Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran, couldn't help but join in on the worldwide political pass-time of making fun of Donald Trump. After the U.S. released a "statement on Saudi atrocities," Zarif tweeted a cutting jab at the President, making fun of his many-times debunked claim that Finland avoids forrest fires by raking the forrest floor.
Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of eve… https://t.co/utyqrT0BX0— Javad Zarif (@Javad Zarif)1542739311.0
The tweet was a reaction to Trump's Tuesday decision to stand by Saudi Arabia despite reports from his own justice department that their crown Prince was responsible for the gruesome murder and dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist. In a statement, the President wrote:
"We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of … Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran."
This must be shared far and wide. Every American must watch this! A compilation of all of Trump's lies related to… https://t.co/PJpXbrUGeU— The Hummingbird 🐦 (@The Hummingbird 🐦)1543016308.0
In his statement, Trump didn't seem to defend Saudi Arabia so much as demonize Iran. The share a long-term contentious relationship and, in the past, the U.S. has often allied itself with the Saudis against Iran. Trump made an effort to remind readers of this fact in his statement's opening paragraph:
"The world is a very dangerous place! The country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, trying to destabilize Iraq's fragile attempt at democracy, supporting the terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon, propping up dictator Bashar Assad in Syria (who has killed millions of his own citizens), and much more. Likewise, the Iranians have killed many Americans and other innocent people throughout the Middle East."
A nation IS its people, @realdonaldtrump. Repeatedly calling Iran a "terrorist nation” reveals hostility toward an… https://t.co/8H3Qv5w6qV— Javad Zarif (@Javad Zarif)1542800438.0
In a country laden with human rights violations, Zarif is the rare political figure with middling amounts of controversy. In a March 2016 poll, he was revealed to be the most popular Iranian politician, having served as a diplomat to the United States and United Nations before being appointed as Foreign Minister.
Many Twitter users couldn't help but laugh at Zarif's burn:
@JZarif We have a bizarre, freaky, non-truth telling, President. For that I apologize. We will fix that in 2 years.… https://t.co/1GQom8Y7VF— Ric Fink (@Ric Fink)1542739768.0
@mbleasdale @Z_Satrap @JZarif love it!! #RakeAmericaGreatAgain LOL— Susanna van Greunen (@Susanna van Greunen)1542743549.0
@JZarif Javad.. I'm a Finn Maybe we did rake the forests... or maybe we didn't !!! :-)— Tomi Ahonen (@Tomi Ahonen)1542740533.0
@JZarif https://t.co/VfmnWTY4P9— Shahin Zebarjad (@Shahin Zebarjad)1542795323.0
@JZarif Well played, sir, well played.— mollyswordmcdonough🌊 (@mollyswordmcdonough🌊)1542741879.0
While Iran's actions are certainly not above reproach, Zarif's jab at Trump serves as a reminder of how the President's foolish lies and posturing can weaken the U.S.'s position in the international community.