Iran’s foreign minister has said the United States ‘cannot expect to stay safe’ after launching what he describes as an ‘economic war’ against Tehran.
Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments on Monday, directly blaming President Donald Trump for the ongoing tensions between the two countries.
‘Mr. Trump himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran,’ Zarif said.
‘The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war.’
‘Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it’.
The tensions recently soared over America deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over a still-unexplained threat it perceives from Tehran.
Zarif’s comments came during a news conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who had traveled to Tehran in an effort to ease tensions.
Zarif came out to a news conference in Tehran grim-faced after a long private discussion with Maas, who called Iran’s ballistic missile program problematic during a visit Sunday to the United Arab Emirates.
Iranian state television quotes spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, as responding that visiting ‘European officials are not in a position to comment on Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal.’
Maas hopes to salvage Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, of which Germany is a signatory.
The accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was struck between Iran and six major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – in 2015.
It saw Iran scale down its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
But last year the United State unilaterally withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanction on Iran – sparking the current tensions.
Tehran has urged Europe to uphold commitments made under the deal and help Iran circumvent US sanctions.
In May, Iran also said it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons grade if Europe didn’t come up with new terms for the deal by July 7.
The deal will be discussed during high-stakes diplomacy meetings in Tehran this week.
After Maas, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will arrive on Wednesday in Iran.