Iran's defence minister poured scorn Saturday on US Secretary of State John Kerry's accusations that Tehran is "destabilising" the Middle East, countering that America should get out of the region.
The broadside illustrated new tension between Iran and the United States, despite last year's nuclear deal, with contrasting stances on the conflicts in Yemen and Syria underpinning the latest barbs.
If the US seeks "stability" it should "leave the region and stop supporting terrorists," Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said, quoted by the website of state television.
"If John Kerry thought about these subjects, he would no longer utter nonsense and foolish words."
Kerry's diplomacy to reassure our Arab allies in the region would work better if Kerry's diplomacy hadn't strengthened and emboldened Iran, nullifying the Reagan Corollary to the Clinton Doctrine.
Oh, and cherish the article's noting that relations are rough "despite" the nuclear deal and the theory that if we try hard enough Iran will be our friend, rather than being a predictable result of pretending to believe Iran's claim to renounce nuclear weapons when, in fact, Iran is clear that "death to America" is their foreign policy--hope and change be damned.
UPDATE: To be clear, when I speak of "running" from the Persian Gulf, I don't mean that literally. We obviously retain a lot of military power in the gulf and in the CENTCOM region in general.
What I mean is a retreat from trying to use our power to oppose Iranian regional ambitions.
UPDATE: Iran claims a very broad right to intervene in the region:
"If tomorrow your capitals face danger from terrorism or Zionism, the power that will give you a positive answer is the Islamic Republic of Iran," [Iran's President Hassan Rouhani] said. But he added that Iran would only help if Muslim countries asked it to, and said its military power was purely for defensive and deterrent purposes.
It's never difficult to find somebody to ask. That's Staged Coup 101.
So Persian and Shia Iran figures that even if you are Arab (or whatever) and Sunni, Iran will protect you--whether you want them to, or not.
Even Putin only claims to have the right to protect more than ethnic Russians.