Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad ZarifReuters

Iran is demanding that the United States force Israel to denuclearize as a condition for improving relations between Tehran and Washington.

The demand was part of a list of 15 conditions set out by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an essay he published in an Iranian newspaper on Thursday.

Zarif also demanded that the U.S. administration stop its support for Israel. The article is a response to 12 conditions that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently for an agreement with Iran.

“The U.S. government should stop its unlimited and unconditional support for the Zionist regime65 in line with its obligations under international law; condemn its policy of apartheid and gross violations of human rights, and support the rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital,” writes Zarif.

He also wrote that the administration “should stop opposing the efforts by the international community for the past five decades to establish a zone free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. It should compel the Zionist regime—with its history of aggression and occupation—to de-nuclearize, thus neutralizing the gravest real threat to regional and international peace and security, which emanates from the most destructive arms in the hands of the most warmongering regime in our time.”

In a speech on May 21, Pompeo set the 12 prerequisites for Iran and vowed that Washington would impose unprecedented sanctions against Iran.

Zarif later ripped Pompeo, saying, “U.S. diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies—dictated by corrupt Special Interest—it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-U.S. JCPOA solutions.”

The back-and-forth came after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.