Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to a series of tweets by Republican Senator Tom Cotton on Thursday, accusing the Arkansas lawmaker of employing "macho personal smear," rather than serious diplomacy.Cotton has been one of the loudest voices against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran and gained notoriety when he spearheaded a letter signed by 47 senators to Iran's leaders last month, warning that an agreement reached with US President Barack Obama would not necessarily be honored by future American leaders. Zarif commented at the time that the Republican senator's contention that Iran's leaders did not understand the US Constitution was condescending.Zarif called Cotton out during remarks he made at NYU University in New York on Wednesday, in which he said that the UN sanctions against Iran would be lifted with the reaching of a comprehensive nuclear deal "whether Senator Tom Cotton likes it or not."
Cotton then took to Twitter, challenging Zarif to a debate on the Constitution and on "Iran's record of tyranny, treachery and terror."Hey, I hear you called me out today. If you’re so confident, let’s debate the Constitution. 1/4— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 29, 2015
He then questioned Zarif's courage, saying that the Iranian FM had "hid in US during Iran-Iraq war while peasants & kids were marched to die."Here’s offer: meet in DC,@JZarif, time of your choosing to debate Iran’s record of tyranny, treachery, & terror. 2/4— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 29, 2015
I understand if you decline @JZarif after all, in your 20s, you hid in US during Iran-Iraq war while peasants & kids were marched to die 3/4— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 29, 2015
On Thursday, Zarif answered Cotton's attacks, while congratulating the senator on the birth of his new baby.Not badge of courage @JZarif, to hide in US while your country fought war to survive-but shows cowardly character still on display today 4/4— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) April 29, 2015
Serious diplomacy, not macho personal smear, is what we need. Congrats on Ur new born. May U and Ur family enjoy him in peace .@SenTomCotton— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 30, 2015