Zarif had tweeted that the US had “no business in the Persian Gulf” and that the “#B Team” “despise[d] diplomacy and thirst for war”.
Cotton said: “[Zarif] can tweet from Tehran all he wants because when he faces sanctions later this week he is not going to be travelling to Europe, the United States to spend his people’s money in five-star restaurants anymore.”
Cotton explained that he doesn’t want to go to war and the developments in the Middle East have not yet escalated to that level, but some retaliation is needed.
He said: “[War is not] warranted by the attacks that Iran has launched against foreign vessels on the high seas or against an American surveillance aircraft. [But] 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 then went on to denounce claims that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran only brought more confrontation rather than conciliation.
He said: “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 explained that the sanctions are being imposed on “one of the richest and greediest men in the world” with a supposed net worth of 200 billion dollars.
Cotton said: “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 will the United States even consider any kind of reciprocal commitments to Iran.”