Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday blasted the United States for threatening to cut aid to countries that vote at the UN General Assembly to reject President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Trump regime exposes contempt for democracy through its threats against those who dare resist its thuggish demands at the UN—all while Trump insults Iran crudely as ‘dictatorship,’” Zarif tweeted.
“US version of democracy stops at rhetoric of ‘either with us or against us,’” he added.
The UN General Assembly will hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on a proposed measure rejecting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem, after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the Security Council.
On Tuesday, Nikki Haley, Washington’s UN envoy, warned countries that she would be “taking names” on the countries which voted to condemn the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.
“At the UN we’re always asked to do more and give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American people, about where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thursday there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The U.S. will be taking names,” Ambassador Haley tweeted.
Speaking at the last Cabinet meeting of 2017, Trump said that the U.S. would take note of the countries which receive hundreds of millions, and even billions, of dollars in U.S. aid and still vote to criticize his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” he told reporters before the Cabinet meeting.
Iran has been a vocal critic of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Following the announcement, the Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Motahhari, called on Islamic states to sever ties with the U.S. in response.
Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami went even further, urging Palestinian Arabs to stage an uprising against Israel following Trump’s move.