Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, is angry. For some reason Iran's Arab neighbors, not to mention many U.S. politicians and journalists, think his country is an aggressor, unworthy of international investment and entry into the global community of nations.
It's enough to make you want to arrest an American businessman on phony espionage charges. But Zarif is a man of reason. So he has taken to the pages of The Washington Post to make his case that despite Iran's ballistic missile tests, and its supreme leader's threatening speeches, and its support for Syria's dictator … his country really just wants peace and harmony.
It all comes down to a simple misunderstanding, according to Zarif. During the nuclear negotiations, he writes, "my country insisted at every turn our defenses were not on the table."
Zarif says this goes back to the Iran-Iraq war and Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons. Zarif writes that the West was "actively preventing Iran from getting access to the most rudimentary defensive necessities."