Sen. Tom Cotton mocked Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for lashing out against the “hard-hitting” sanctions against the regime, saying Zarif will no longer be able to spend “his people's money in five-star restaurants.”
Cotton appeared on “Fox News @ Night” Monday evening after President Trump signed financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates following a series of “aggressive behaviors” by the Iranian regime, including the downing of a U.S. drone.
The regime’s foreign minister, who will be placed under sanctions this week, went to Twitter to bemoan the latest sanctions, tweeting that “@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf. Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world. But it’s now clear that the #B Team is not concerned with US interests—they despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.”
Cotton mocked Zarif, saying that he “can tweet from Tehran all he wants because when he faces sanctions later this week he is not going to be traveling to Europe, the United States to spend his people's money in five-star restaurants anymore.”
“Javad Zarif can tweet from Tehran all he wants because when he faces sanctions later this week he is not going to be traveling to Europe, the United States to spend his people's money in five star restaurants anymore.”
The Arkansas Republican said that just like Trump, he doesn’t want war – and the latest developments in the Middle East haven’t warranted a full-scale war with Iran – but some form of retaliation is needed.
“That's not what I've said is warranted by the attacks that Iran has launched against foreign vessels on the high seas or against an American surveillance aircraft. I've said we need retaliatory strikes, kind of what President Reagan did to Iran in 1988 for exactly this kind of activity or what Donald Trump did to Syria in 2017 and 2018 when Bashar al Assad gassed his own people,” he added.
He also dismissed the claims the Trump administration strategy against Iran only brought more confrontation rather than bringing the Iranians to the table.
“The president's maximum pressure campaign has put Iran in the toughest strategic position they face in the 40 years since the revolution in 1979. For the first time, the United States has seized the strategic initiative and you see Iran lashing out whether it's in these unprovoked attacks or the kind of comments that you've read from the foreign minister of Iran,” he said.
“The sanctions today will go directly to the supreme leader of Iran a supposedly godly man who is by some accounts worth 200 billion dollars, making him one of the richest and greediest men in the world.”
Cotton added: "Eventually Iran is going to get the picture that the United States is not going to tolerate not only an Iranian nuclear program but their campaign of terror throughout the Middle East and aggression against American partners. Only once they recognize that and they begin to act like a civilized nation while the United States even consider any kind of reciprocal commitments to Iran.”