WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator in nuclear talks with Iran, has characterized President Donald Trump’s approach to Iran as "another painful and costly example”.
As the under secretary of state for political affairs, Sherman led the U.S. delegation to the marathon talks which led to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, but Trump described it as "the worst deal of all time” and left it in 2018.
In an opinion piece in Foreign Policy magazine, Sherman lamented in a headline "the Total Destruction of U.S. Foreign Policy Under Trump”.
"Over three years after the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal, Iran has more highly enriched uranium …, more operating nuclear facilities, more sophisticated technology,” she wrote.
"U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iran envoy Brian Hook advertise this as a campaign of ‘maximum pressure,’ but their ultimate objective—which they insist is not regime change—remains a mystery,” she added.
The U.S. unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran in 2018, when it unilaterally scrapped the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Following its withdrawal, Washington targeted the Iranian nation with the "toughest ever” economic sanctions.
It is currently dialing up efforts to kill the JCPOA completely through pushing the remaining parties to the multilateral agreement to extend a UN arms embargo on Tehran.
Sherman, a professor at Harvard University, said in her articled that Trump lacks any "discernible objective” in its foreign policy.
"As a result of Trump’s failures, the Middle East is further from peace and closer to the next Palestinian uprising than when he took office, the people of Cuba and Venezuela face a bitter future, the promise of African renewal is sidelined, and there is no real challenge to either Russia or China,” she wrote.
"The only possible conclusion is that the objective in Trump’s relations with other countries is not national security but Trump’s security. Nothing else explains the vacuous and vain approach of a foreign policy without objectives, without strategy, without any indication that it protects and advances U.S. interests.”
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Friday touched on Trump’s "maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, as he denounced calls to open new talks with the United States.
Without naming Trump, the Leader said, "This old man in charge, he apparently made some propaganda use out of his negotiations with North Korea. Now he wants to use (talks with Iran) for the (November 3 U.S. presidential) election.”
"Everyone must pay attention; I have said this for several times, and I have to repeat it, because some either fail to understand or pretend they can’t understand.
"If the enemy talks of negotiation, it means ‘come to the negotiating table and don’t develop missiles’. If you give in to their demands … you will make yourself defenseless; and if you don’t, you will have to face the same story: disputes, threats and sanctions again. This is what negotiation means,” the Leader said.