07/24/2018, 17.15
IRAN – UNITED STATES
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Trump and Rouhani duke it out on twitter, Iranians only fear oil prices

by Khosrow Shirazi

For many Iranians, the US president’s harsh words, as well as those of Rouhani and Zarif, are only "propaganda". US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tries to get Iranian-Americans on board but an open letter slams the US administration’s "disastrous approach" on Iran, noting "If you truly wish to help the people of Iran, lift the travel ban, adhere to the Iran nuclear deal".

Tehran (AsiaNews) – For many Iranians, the twitter war between US President Donald Trump, his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is just “propaganda”.

For Darius, a Tehran businessman in the Iranian capital, "we are only afraid that the price of oil will fall so much as to create problems for Iran’s already battered economy".

Since May, when Trump pulled out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, promising harsh sanctions against the country, Iran has become America’s number one enemy.

On Sunday, Rouhani said in a message directed at the United States that ""America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

Hours later, Trump fired back at Rowhani on Twitter, in all caps: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

A few hours later, Javad Zarif reacted, also on Twitter: “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!”

In his tweet Zarif is perhaps referring to the volley of jibes between Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who insulted each other only to put that aside when they met.

Some Iranians hope that the relationship between Iran and the US might take the same turn; for this reason, they see clashes of words as propaganda.

Two days ago, when Trump posted his all-cap tweet, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to rally Iranian-Americans against the "nightmare" Iranian regime, which he said "resembles the mafia more than a government".

Reacting to Pompeo’s statement, the National Iranian American Council, released an open letter signed by thousands of Iranian-Americans.

The letter, which ran as a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times, yesterday, said: “If you truly wish to help the people of Iran, lift the travel ban, adhere to the Iran nuclear deal – the JCPOA – and provide the people of Iran the economic relief they were promised and have eagerly awaited for three years, as every independent media has reported."

The statement goes on to say “the Iranian-American community [. . .] have been shocked and dismayed by this administration's disastrous approach.”

In fact, many on social media in Iran have noted that any outside threat would only unite the Iranians because most do not want a regime change but peaceful reforms.

What most fear is the White House’s total embargo on Iranian oil exports. "If this were to happen, the Iranian economy would nose-dive,” Darius, the Tehran businessman said. “The international community would also have to deal with rising oil price. But if the United States and Saudi Arabia agree to keep the price of oil low, it will be hard times for us."

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